We loved seeing this modified smartphone at CES which used environmentally friendly fuel cells and air holes to keep it charged for up to a week. Unfortunately, it’s a prototype and not on the market, but there could be a purchasable alternative soon.
Rather than waiting for phone companies to wake up and build hydrogen fuel cell support into their phones, JAQ is a portable charger from MyFC which uses a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. This is, at the very least, a positive step towards more permanent environmentally friendly power solutions.
The charger works by inserting small PowerCards containing salt water into a smartphone sized port. When the card is inserted, the hydrogen atoms from the salt water enter the fuel cell at the anode, chemically reacting with oxygen at the cathode, producing electricity and water. All you have to do is plug your phone into the charger with a USB cable to begin charging. It’s been travel approved, too, so you can even use it on a flight.
One card produces around 1800 mAh of energy, which should be enough to fully charge one smartphone, with more cards needed to charge larger devices. Each card is good for only one use, though, as they stop being able to produce the necessary reactions but they can be disposed of as regular waste.
JAQ isn’t yet available, but you can pre-book the charger on the MyFC website to be first in line to purchase it when it begins to ship. From what we can see on the site, it looks like consumers will purchase the charger and then be given the option to sign up to a 24 month subscription which will charge a monthly fee, through which they’ll receive their PowerCards. Though a monthly subscription is one way to do this and it ensures you never forget to stock up on cards, we hope it’ll be possible to buy cards separately as you please as well.
While we dislike having to carry around bulky portable chargers, it is nice to see an environmentally friendly option for charging on the go, that doesn’t require access to a power outlet. Just make sure you’ve got a few cards in your bag and you’re always good to go.
via Live Science