This green gadget charges while you walk
Our lives run on electricity. Few things are more frustrating than the sinking feeling you get when a crucial gadget runs dry. Your phone peters out, your iPad grinds to a halt, your MP3 player drops dead with two hours left in the flight. Other than self-restraint (the least enjoyable virtue) how can you possibly fight this?
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With the Personal Energy Generator from nPower. I covered this gadget back in May. Details were scarce then, but now the PEG is available and coming to CES 2011. It costs $159.
The PEG will be as easy to operate as it gets. Set the little generator upright in a backpack or laptop bag and start walking. The energy you expend on movement won't be wasted. It'll go right into a battery and give you charge for those tight times away from a socket. Hiking in the middle of nowhere? The PEG's 1000 mAh battery will keep you rocking even when far off the beaten path.
This thing puts out 5 V of DC and weighs a smidge under 12 ounces. according to the site, 5 minutes of walking will give you 1 minute of talk time on an iPhone 2G. 10 minutes of walking gives you 1 minute on a 3G, while 1 minute gives you 1 minute of listening on a Nano.
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The next (and most awesome) evolution of this technology will be a full-on gadget charger (laptop/tablet capable) that plugs directly into your device and keeps a trickle charge up throughout the day. Four or five hours of hiking could make a pretty fair dent in your laptop's battery life. Maybe mix it in with a solar charger for ultimate "green" efficiency.