Envision this: you are walking down the street talking on your iPhone in an important conversation when suddenly your battery dies. You really need to complete the call but there's no place to plug in your smartphone to charge. You therefore instead pull out a small tube looking device, twirl it for a bit and then have enough power to call the person back and complete the talk. That's the premise behind Voltmaker, currently up on crowd funding site Indiegogo to raise $200,000 for production tooling, component ordering and the launch of sales.
The Voltmaker functionality is very simple to the end user: you extend a small rod from the body of the tubular charger and start twirling it via twists of the wrist. It makes internal use of the kinetic energy generated to producte volts, which in turn charge its lithium batteries. The makers behind it claim that after just a few minutes of this activity you can produce enough power at the minimum to make a short phone call.
Like other portable kinetic chargers on the market, a more practical solution exists as well for those who think ahead to store energy in this device. You can plug it into a USB port to give it full power, charging it fully in under two hours. It is said that when the Voltmaker is fully charged it can, in turn, fully recharge an iPhone's battery.
There's a wide range of uses for the Voltmaker, including when you are camping and during a power outage. It is made of aluminum to be durable and, via part of its USB interface, can be made compatible with add-on items such as a flashlight module. Because it contains a micro-controller, you can also plug it into a smartphone to know how fast it is spinning and how much power is being generated via special apps.
Now after you are done laughing at the promo video above know this - as of now, assuming funding is made, the Voltmaker design team hopes to ship their creation in time for the 2013 holiday season. It isn't fully clear what the end retail price of one of these will be, but those who pony up $69 will get the device when it becomes available.