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

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…
Smart Home

Google has tips for making your smart home more eco-friendly

Google is announcing new integrations for Google Assistant with energy and water-saving devices for Earth Day. The company is also offering tips on how to cut down on your energy bill.
Smart Home

Echo Plus (1st-gen) vs. Echo Plus (2nd-gen): How exactly do they compare?

Which Echo Plus should you buy? This guide compares the first-generation Echo Plus its latest successor, allowing you to get a better idea regarding the ins and outs of each device.
Deals

Decluttr is offering a refurbished iPhone 6 for as little as $120

Decluttr announced a deal on its "good" condition iPhone 6. Through Decluttr, you can get the device for as little as $120, which is an excellent deal on the phone. The iPhone 6 may be a few generations old, but it's still a great device.
Outdoors

Rough it in absolute comfort with the best sleeping pads available

Shopping for a sleeping pad for your next backpacking trip? Don't buy something that feels like a cold slab of stone. Narrow your selection with our carefully selected list of the best sleeping pads available.
Outdoors

Perch above the fray (and impress Instagram) in the best rooftop tents

Like camping but hate sleeping on the ground? Then why not sleep under the stars and on top of your vehicle in a rooftop tent? Not only is it a fun way to camp but it offers a great vantage point. Here are the best rooftop tents available.
Outdoors

Lyft pulls thousands of ebikes from three U.S. cities over safety issue

A brake problem affecting 3,000 electric bikes operated by Lyft-owned Citi Bike, Capital Bikeshare, and Ford GoBike has prompted the company to take the two-wheelers out of service until the issue is resolved.
Health & Fitness

From the office to the gym, these are the best smartwatches for fitness

The line between smartwatch and fitness tracker continues to blur. To help narrow the field of the best fitness watches, we sifted through what's available and curated a list of devices worthy of a spot on your wrist.
Smart Home

Tired of running outdoors? Check out the best treadmills of 2019

Running can help melt away fat and strengthening your muscles. Compared to running outdoors, you're safer staying inside on a cushioned track. We've rounded up the best treadmills on the market.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Home Theater

Run to the beat of your favorite music with the best running headphones

Running is a great source of exercise but isn't always the most thrilling, especially when you're fiddling to keep your headphones in place. Check out our picks for the best headphones for running, so you never have to miss a beat again.
Outdoors

Puma is looking for volunteers to test its self-lacing sports shoe

Puma unveiled its high-tech self-lacing shoe at the start of the year, and now it's looking for volunteers from around the world to try it out and offer feedback so it can finalize the design prior to launch.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

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's fun to gawk!