A new fuel cell about the size of a bar of soap gives travelers and backpackers a way to charge iPods or phones when they’re not near a power outlet. You activate the cell by squeezing and shaking it; after that, the company claims, it lasts for two or three months and generates about 20 watt-hours of energy, or enough to charge a typical phone five or six times. The power-generating reaction creates a benign by-product akin to soapy water. When the cell is depleted, it can be sent in a preaddressed box to a recycling facility.
Product: 24/7 Power Pack
Cost: $49.99 for the initial set (including power cords); $24.99 for replacement cartridges