Just what we needed dept: A backup battery built into a belt
Dead battery on your phone? Take your belt to it and give it a jolt.
Lloyd usually brings you the 'Just what we needed dept' here on TreeHugger, but when I saw this product, I decided to try to take a page from his book and try on the ION Belt, so to speak.
Perhaps it's time to stop talking about EV range anxiety, and start focusing on smartphone charge anxiety instead. Based on the number of crowds clustered around electric outlets at just about every public space, all tethered to the wall while they wait for their phones to charge, there's an obvious need for more solutions for mobile power supplies.
And the market is responding, as it seems like a new charger or cord or battery is launched just about every week, each one with a bit of a different twist or feature to it, and all of which are hailed as being a gamechanger in some way or another. The latest concept in mobile charging, while not the first of its kind that I've seen, is to essentially turn your battery into a wearable, in this case, a belt.
The ION Belt, currently seeking backers on Kickstarter, is introduced with a pithy tag-line, "POWER IS THE ULTIMATE ACCESSORY" and this promise: "Never get caught with your pants down again!," but even after explaining that the product is a 3,000 mAh battery/charger combo belt, with the belt buckle serving as the power input plug and the tail of the belt concealing a USB out port for charging devices, I still wasn't convinced this is a thing that would actually get worn and used. But you be the judge:
Just based on my own experiences with wearing a belt every day for decades now, I can't imagine the added bulk of the battery packs at the back of the belt, where I imagine that they would be uncomfortable when sitting down, but I think I'd be willing to put up with it if the belt had some serious storage capacity. But for just 3,000 mAh, said to be enough for 1.5 charges of an iPhone 6, I'm not so sure. For the price of $130 retail ($79 for early backers), it's simply not 'all that' and portable battery packs like this one, with the same capacity, can be had for less than $40.
To be honest, there is probably a little bit of a Batman factor to this belt, as a quick look at the beginning of this very sales-y pitch video shows, so perhaps there is a need for it, if only to satisfy that desire to have a power belt with a button on it:
As for me, I'll stick with carrying a small separate backup battery, and keep my belt minimal (I backed this belt on Kickstarter and have been very happy with mine), but to each their own, so if you want to wear your next charge around your waist, the ION might be your best bet.