Emerging Tech

Portable USB fuel cell charges your phone up to 14 times

Ideal for anyone taking an extended vacation, Lilliputian Systems is finishing up development of a portable fuel cell that will be able to charge smartphones and other devices via USB. Approximately the size of a deck of cards, the fuel cell charger is about as thick as a smartphone or tablet and uses small fuel cartridges to power the device. The fuel cartridges are approximately the size of a small box of matches. Each fuel cell will be able to charge an iPhone 4 approximately 10 to 14 times over the life of the cartridge. This device could be ideal for travelers heading overseas on short vacations as they could avoid having to purchase charging adapters. It would also be helpful for anyone using a power hungry portable gaming device like the PlayStation Vita.

brookstoneTargeting a release date before the end of the year, the device will be carried exclusively on Brookstone’s site as well as Brookstone locations in shopping malls and airports. According to Lilliputian Systems, the U.S. Department of Transportation will allow the device within carry-on baggage when boarding an airplane, thus allowing travelers to power devices on lengthy flights.

According to Lilliputian Systems VP of business development Mouli Ramani, he stated that the pricing of the actual fuel cartridges will be “about the same as coffee from Starbucks,” in a comment to CNET. That likely positions the fuel cartridges between $3 to $5 each and the device will likely be priced between $100 to $200.

Lilliputian Systems didn”t specify if the fuel cell charger will be available at any other stores besides Brookstone, but this version will be branded by Brookstone. The company also didn’t specify if the design of the fuel cartridge will be made available to third party manufacturers, thus allowing consumers to purchase less expensive cartridges in bulk. According to Ramani, the cartridges can be tossed in a recycling bin after being emptied from multiple charges.

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