Frustrated by the all-too-brief battery life in today's cell phones? Many manufacturers have turned to solar power recently, but one firm thinks there's a better approach: adding an old-fashioned hand crank. TCL's Vertus concept packs both solar and manual charging ability, meaning you can leave the phone untended and never need to plug it in, or you could crank it up to ensure teh talk time your next conversation may require.
TCL, which also produces wind-up radios and torches under the Trevor Baylis Brand (created by the British inventor of the wind-up radio Trevor Baylis), says 1 minute of cranking will allow for 4 minutes' talk time. A specially developed ultra-thin dynamo creates the power.
The company behind the Vertus think the concept would be ideal for countries such as India and Africa, where they have very good mobile coverage but poor power supplies. TCL, the brains behind the design have already successfully produced wind up torches and wind up radios, they say one minute of cranking will provide up to four minutes of talk time. What’s more, as long as the mobile stays in the sunlight, you’ll never run out of power, thanks to the solar panel backing.
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Jeremy A. Kaplan is Science and Technology editor at FoxNews.com, where he heads up coverage of gadgets, the online world, space travel, nature, the environment, and more. Prior to joining Fox, he was executive editor of PC Magazine, co-host of the Fastest Geek competition, and a founding editor of GoodCleanTech.