This is one gadget I might actually have to buy as soon as it's available. The FreeCharge is a portable power supply that outputs 12V DC through a standard "cigarette lighter" style plug. It has enough power to jump-start a car or boat, but it can also recharge most portable devices. When you have no access to electricity, can you can always step on the treadle to generate power yourself. This device shines in emergency situations, such as when your car needs a jump start on a deserted road.The FreeCharge's 7Ah sealed lead acid battery can also be charged with solar panels, wind-powered turbines, or via standard AC power. To run AC devices, you'll need an inverter of some kind, since it only outputs DC directly.
Available from CCrane for $294.95, but not in stock until March 2006, so unfortunately there's no chance to give it as a gift.
See also our previous article on Freeplay.