Some smartphone plans let you “top up” by purchasing extra data or minutes should you run low before the end of the month, and this cool concept battery applies a similar idea to battery power. It’s a tiny environmentally friendly cell with a Micro USB or Lightning connector attached to it, that would be sold in convenience stores. Called the Mini Power, it would come in varying capacities, but advertised by the amount of extra standby time it would provide – two hours, four hours, or six hours.
While the external battery packs we’re familiar with are built around Lithium Ion cells, the Mini Power uses a paper battery. Thin, light, flexible, and tough, paper batteries do not contain heavy metals, cannot overheat or explode, and are easily recycled. Once the Mini Power has delivered its charge, the dead battery could be returned to the store and put in for recycling.
Its small size makes it very convenient, and could potentially be purchased in a long strip, where chunks of power could be torn off and used when needed. External battery packs are often quite big and heavy, but the Mini Power would disappear in a pocket or bag. Battery packs using disposable batteries have been around for a while, but the Mini Power stands out thanks to its size, eco-friendly credentials, and perhaps most importantly, very cool design.
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Buy it, charge your phone, throw it in the recycling. The Mini Power sounds almost too good to be true. Sadly, it is. The Mini Power is the work of designer Tsung Chih-Hsien, and is a concept at the moment. However, having picked up a win at the 2014 Red Dot Awards, there’s a chance it may become a real product we can buy in the future.