Ride Your Bike to Charge Your Phone

Bicycle Charger dynamo photo

Photo credit Nokia.

Those pedal-powered blenders, and bike-based beer kegs are wonderful novelties, but they pale in comparison to this Nokia charger, which uses the ever-popular bicycle dynamo to allow you to bike, talk or listen to music, and charge all at the same time. We'll leave it to you to decide whether talking and cycling at the same time is better, equal, or worse than talking and driving a car at the same time. Even if you decide to ignore the ringing phone while you are biking, the Nokia charger will be making sure you don't run out of battery power by the time you are at your destination.

Bicycle Charger close up photo

Photo credit Nokia.

Nokia is definitely not the first to have the idea. Two young University of Kenya students, Jeremiah Murimi and Pascal Katana, started talking about their design for a bicycle-driven phone charger about four years ago. The two did get a patent for their idea under Kenyan law, but they had neither the backers nor the bucks to take the product commercial.

Katana believed the bicycle charger would be of great benefit to Africans, especially those who live in areas where electricity penetration is low. He says he spoke with Nokia and his lawyer after he learned that they were working on a charger, but could not come to terms.

Meanwhile, Nokia went ahead, and now they've introduced the bicycle-driven dynamo charger over the last six months to the Asian market, to India, Africa, and Europe.

The charger begins working at a speed of about six kilometers per hour, and can charge as effectively as an electricity-based charger, Nokia said, when the cyclist reaches about 12 kilometers per hour. And how fast can you charge the average Nokia phone?

For example, with just 20 minutes of cycling at 10 km/h you can power up a Nokia 1202 for 1 hour of talk time or 74 hours of standby time. - Nokia

Nokia also recommends listening to music while pedaling, though some folks think that's a bad idea for cyclists, too.

Nokia says the charger is "built to withstand dirt and weather" and is easily and securely attached to the bike. Motorola is also said to be working on one of these bicycle phone chargers.

At approximately $33 for the charger, however, I wonder how affordable it will be for the populations that could best use it.

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More about pedal-powered bike devices:
Pedal-powered Prime Mover
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Bike-Powered Lamp
Pedal-Powered Businesses Popping Up in Portland
Wash Your Clothes By Pedaling Your Bike (With Video)