Spark uses heat and cold differential to generate electricity to power phones

jikopower spark heat powered generator
What works on camping trips can also be useful during disasters and in emerging markets. The JikoPower Spark is a lightweight, portable thermoelectric generator (TEG) that converts waste heat into electricity that can be used to charge and power USB devices. The Spark is currently in a Kickstarter campaign that also focuses on its work in Kenya to bring power to an area where cell phones are common but electricity is not, according to GeekWire.

JikoPower’s goal is to provide people electric power to save energy from other sources, to light their homes, and to stay connected. The company works with communities of rural entrepreneurs to help them save costly kerosene and the time they would ordinarily spend walking to town to charge their cellphones. For some people, that can save up to 12 hours a week and $27 a month in kerosene. They can also make money by letting others use the Spark for a fee to charge their phones.

The JikoPower Spark is useful for campers who no longer have to carry batteries when they go backcountry and still be prepared for emergencies. During power outages, the JikoPower generator can help people stay connected and call for emergency relief.

The Spark works via an embedded thermoelectric chip that converts heat to electricity. The greater the difference in temperature on the two sides of the chip, the more electricity is created. A heat probe extended into a fire transfers heat to one side of the chip. A reservoir filled with water keeps one side of the chip relatively cool. Even if the water is boiling, its temperature can be lower the metal arm facing a fire or stove, so electricity can still be generated. The Spark has a heat tolerance of up to 600-degrees Centigrade (1,112 Fahrenheit) and a power output of two to five watts. The Spark can charge cell phones, LED lights, and other small devices.

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.
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Mobile

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Outdoors

Lyft is offering free bikeshare rides to highlight Earth Day

To highlight Earth Day and promote its own green efforts, Lyft is offering free rides with its bikeshare programs in six cities across the U.S. on April 22. Anyone interested should check the service's website for full details.
Deals

Get cooking with a Masterbuilt meat smoker, now $230 off

Warm weather means it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors, but meat lovers know that spring and summer are prime cookout time. The Masterbuilt meat smoker – on sale from Walmart for $230 off – is an excellent way to prepare meat like a…
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?