It happens to all of us; we’re out and about and our smartphone dies. Mostly we hope there’s an outlet around, but of course sometimes that’s not exactly the best solution. Hence, where the Mipwr comes in; it’s a case, a backup battery, and a hand-powered charger in one designed for the iPhone.
A Backup To The Backup
First, let’s talk about the most interesting design feature on the Mipwr case: The lever on the side that pops out and lets you squeeze to charge up your phone. The basic concept will be familiar to anybody who owns a batteryless flashlight; as you squeeze the handle, you turn the gears, cranking a dynamo and generating electrical power. After a minute of squeezing the lever, you should have roughly thirty seconds of talk time or enough energy to send one text message. When you’re normally charged, the lever folds away inside the case.
The battery powering isn’t bad, either; the case comes with a 400 mA battery to give you a little extra talk time before you start cranking. 400 mA isn’t exactly a ton of juice, but it’s good enough for two hours of talk time, and it’s a nice touch that the case includes not just a charger but a backup battery to go with it.
Getting The Power
Finally, the nice thing about this being built off a toy you buy in a science museum is that it’s not a very expensive design. This will cost you just $25 if you get in on the early bird special, but even if you miss out on that, you can still get these for a surprisingly low price; just $50, as the intended retail target. If you know somebody who likes going out in the woods, or just somebody who never seems to have enough juice in their phone, this might be $50 well spent.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.