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A literally hot new USB charger

July 18, 2012

If a smartphone will be in your pocket for this weekend’s camping trip, then maybe you should take along the BioLite CampStove. When you burn sticks or leaves in this $129 beauty, the heat is transformed into electricity that can be used to charge an iPhone or other USB gadget. The unit is small and only adds two pounds to your pack. Oh, and you can also boil water and cook with it.

The CampStove’s charger provides 2 watts of output, roughly the same as a laptop. Charging your iPhone for 20 minutes would give you 60 minutes of talk time. And unlike a solar panel, this kind of charger can be used on a cloudy day. The stove incorporates a fan that circulates air and saves your breath [see how it works]. A firelighter is also included in the box.
The CampStove is clearly aimed at outdoor types and gadget lovers. I admit it — I want one. It would be great for those overnight bike trips I’ve always said I wanted to take but never have… The video below provides a good view of what it looks like in action.

The company will soon also sell a larger HomeStove, which it appears to be marketing at developing countries. Besides being an efficient cooking unit, it would allow people in areas without electricity to charge a cell phone for free. The infographic at right shows the potential impact of the HomeStove, which generates far less smoke and CO2 than a traditional three-stone fire.

This looks like an awesome idea and a very cool company. I wish them luck!

Source: Charge Your iPhone with Burning Pine Cones. [Gizmodo]

Tip o’ the hat to the CASIT blog.

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