Estream is a personal hydroelectric generator for charging your gadgets

Hydropower, once used by farmers in ancient Greece to grind grain, is today employed at such iconic locales as the Hoover Dam in Nevada and the monolithic Three Gorges Dam in China to produce electricity. Enomad, a startup from South Korea, has revealed a hydropower device called the Estream, which will convert running water into electricity that can charge your phone and other USB devices.

The Estream is about the size of a water bottle and weighs less than 2 pounds. Once submerged in running water, the turbine rotates and generates electricity that gets stored in the Estream’s built-in 6,400mAh battery, which takes about 4.5 hours to fully charge. A full battery should be able to charge up to three smartphones or action cameras. Estream claims that it’s able to charge devices twice as fast as a regular outlet thanks to a quick-charge function.

Unlike with solar chargers, it’s impractical to charge your device while the Estream is generating power, but being independent of sunlight means that you can leave it in a nearby stream overnight and wake up with a fully charged power bank. The water flow doesn’t have to exclusively come from Mother Nature either, as the Estream can be attached to the end of a kayak to generate power from movement through the water. Think of it like being able to power your own hybrid vehicle.

If your daytime activities were enough to bring a fully charged Estream through to sunset, the device is able to double as a lantern on and and in the water with two levels of light intensity, as well as strobe settings for signalling and SOS.

The Estream is IPX8 rated, but that doesn’t tell the whole story about how it will fare under extreme conditions. “In January 2016, we went to Provo river near Salt Lake City for field testing in extreme weather conditions, and temperature was nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit,” Hyerin Park, founder and CEO of Enomad, told Digital Trends. “The test result was Estream still generated energy from water stream even under cold weather.”

While the Estream may be able to still generate energy, the batteries inside the Estream as well as those in your portable devices have difficulty functioning at such low temperatures. Simply put, you could generate the power, but would have limited ability to store and use it due to battery chemistry.

“Recommended temperature range for Estream is from 23 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit but our engineers are trying to improve battery life and conditions for wide range of outdoor activities,” said Park, adding that Estream should work as intended in most places where people would venture. “Today’s temperature of water in Icy Bay, Alaska, is 47 degrees Fahrenheit and 77 degrees Fahrenheit in Caribbean. Those are pretty good conditions to make energy with Estream in both places.”

The first iteration of Estream, now available for pre-order on Kickstarter, is designed to work in freshwater, but Park assured that her team is working on upgrading the components to be ocean-worthy without any significant change in price. Deliveries of Estream will commence in 2017.

Product Review

Packed with features, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired makes home security a breeze

With an integrated spotlight, crystal-clear video, and color night vision, this device makes home security a cinch. Here's why we like the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired as a great choice for outdoor home security.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Outdoors

Uber’s bikesharing service is eating into its regular business

A bikesharing service acquired by Uber nearly a year ago is causing riders to take fewer car journeys with the company. It is, however, part of the plan as Uber looks to offer an integrated mobility platform for cities.
Outdoors

Keep the rain away and the bugs at bay with this hybrid camping hammock

The new Kammock Mantis hammock is a lightweight all-in-one solution that includes a rainfly, built-in insect netting, onboard storage, and tree-friendly straps to create a complete and comfortable camping system that is easy to set up.
Outdoors

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.
Outdoors

The Naseka electric snowmobile is built for kids, but you’ll likely want one too

The Naseka electric snowmobile is a vehicle built for kids, allowing them to have a safe and efficient ride on snow, with the ability to trade out the ski for a wheel for use in the summer too.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Deals

Under Armour drops prices on Gore-Tex Jackets, Pants, and backpacks

The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on right now through Monday, February 18. During this time, you can get up to 40 percent off a huge range of outlet items, including Gore-Tex rain gear.
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Outdoors

The best heated gloves keep your hands toasty warm in all temperatures

When temperatures plunge, the first thing that gets cold are your fingers. Ward off frostbite and keep your digits toasty warm with these best heated gloves.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

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!
Outdoors

High-tech but low-key, these are the amazing materials inside your outdoor gear

We take a look at some of the materials that are used in the creation of our favorite outdoor gear, making our jackets, sleeping bags, tents, and other items warmer, drier, and more comfortable even in harsh weather conditions.