Belts are so darn boring. However, without them, our ill-fitting pants would be down by our ankles most of the time, not a good look if you’re walking into a job interview or delivering an important speech on global warming. Get spotted in the wrong place at the wrong time and you could even end up spending a night in the cells.
Thankfully, Nifty – a UK-based startup that made a name for itself with its MiniDrive storage solution for the MacBook – is threatening to breathe new life into the humble waist-based loop. The team has come up with an innovative design that incorporates battery-charging tech, offering the pants-wearing public a new way to keep their mobile device at full power while they’re dashing about in their comfortably fitting trousers.
The XOO Belt (pronounced ‘zoo’) is wearable tech that you might actually want to wear – especially if running out of smartphone juice is an issue for you. And because it’s slung around your body, you’ll have one less thing to carry when you go out.
“It looks, feels and weighs about the same as a really nice belt….but comes with a mighty 2,100mAh of hidden charge and can charge pretty much any device,” the Nifty team says.
Designed with a new breed of lithium ceramic polymer flexible battery, the belt is said to be safe, durable, and weather-resistant, and weighs “about the same” as a regular belt.
While the flexible part of the battery lives inside the belt strap, the rest is contained in the buckle. The charging wire runs alongside the inside of the belt when it’s not in use, with magnetism holding it in place.
You charge it the same way you would your smartphone, and five discretely placed LEDs on the buckle indicate power level. According to Nifty, the belt will fully charge, for example, an iPhone 6 in about 2.5 hours from empty.
Nifty’s XOO Belt is part of a recently launched Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, so it’s not ready just yet. However, should backers stump up a total of $50,000 by December 18, the company plans to start shipping the product in July with a $155 price tag, though early backers can, of course, get a better deal.