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.
Credit: Joshua Scott
Product: 24/7 Power Pack
Cost: $49.99 for the initial set (including power cords); $24.99 for replacement cartridges
Other products in this section:
Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.Subscribe today
Subscribe to Continue Reading
Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.
Switzerland Votes to Phase Out Nuclear Power
It’s another blow to an industry that has been hammered in the U.S. and Europe, leaving a huge opportunity for China to emerge as a global leader in nuclear technology.
The World’s Largest Wind Turbines Have Started Generating Power in England
A single revolution of a turbine’s blades can power a home for 29 hours.
The Case for Building Electric Roads
The falling price of lithium-ion batteries may mean that electrified streets don’t make sense for private cars—but could be useful for public transit.