Whenever you leave home, plan A is to bring your smartphone charger and plan B is to hope someone around you has a charger for your kind of phone in case your battery runs out. But if those plans fail, there’s always Plan V, a “jumper cable” that recharges your smartphone with a 9-volt battery.
The Plan V is a small, unassuming, rubber keychain dongle that’s meant to be a last-resort smartphone charger. Open up the device, attach it to a 9-volt battery’s two terminals, plug the Plan V into your dead smartphone and you’ll have about four hours of talk time (or about 40 percent of battery life).
The logic behind leveraging 9-volt batteries is that they’re “about as widely available as chocolate bars,” according to Flintu, the group of engineers and designers behind the Plan V. Flintu also took inspiration from cars, which use jumper cables rather than a spare battery in the trunk when they’re in need of some juice.
Currently, the Plan V is compatible with smartphones that have micro USB ports. Flintu is awaiting Apple certification.
There’s a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the Plan V, which has raised more than $51,000 AUD (or about $43,000) from nearly 1,900 backers. The project closes on Dec. 24. Flintu hopes to make its first deliveries of the portable smartphone charger in February. (If Apple certification is granted, the Plan V Lightning is scheduled to ship in March.)
The Plan V will cost about $12.50 for supporters of the Kickstarter campaign, but it will retail for about $20.