Forget sunlight or alkaline, Brunton’s new mobile charger gets power from hydrogen

brunton hydrogen reactor portable power pack charger

For over a century, researchers have tried hard to figure out how to harness sustainable and affordable energy out of fuel-cell technology. While hydrogen-powered vehicles exist today, they’re still merely prototypes and aren’t exactly rolling off assembly lines. But one area where we could see fuel-cell usage increase is in portable power, like Brunton’s Hydrogen Reactor Portable Power Pack charger.

The name alone conjures up images of mad scientists at work, perhaps making it sound way cooler than it really is – still cool nonetheless. Unveiled earlier this past summer at the Outdoor Retailer Show and available now for preorder, the compact Hydrogen Reactor uses fuel-cell technology to create electricity – through the reaction from combining hydrogen with oxygen – which can be then sent to charge a device connected via USB. The source for the Reactor comes in the form of a removable Hydrogen Core that can be recharged when spent. Each Core has a 2-amp output and is equal to 30-plus AA batteries, enough to recharge a smartphone six times. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, the Core does not deplete over time (and it’s more environmentally friendly, so you can easily recycle it).

The Hydrogen Reactor is an enhanced version of the Fuel-Cell MiniPak from Horizon, but Brunton has designed it with backpackers and other outdoorsy types in mind. However, anyone can benefit. When it comes to hydrogen, you might be concerned about the dangers associated with it, but Brunton says the Cores are relatively safe.

The charger will retail for $150 and include two Hydrogen Cores. Each additional Core costs $15. B&H already has the charger for preorder.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.