Now here’s a product that should do well in Chicago.
Every week there’s a fun, smart new method unveiled for topping up the battery on your beloved gadgets. Some of them are promising but as yet a little impractical (unless you’re comfortable with 1.6 kilos strapped to your knee). And others are so brilliantly envisioned and engineered that it’s hard to imagine what we did before they came along.
The HYmini looks like a large hand-fan, the kind you keep in the car for those midsummer days stuck in traffic. However, it’s not a power-guzzling fan – it’s a miniature turbine.
Hold it up to the wind, and as long as the air is running through the blades faster than 9 m.p.h., the rechargeable battery is filling up. (Say goodbye to the frustration of forgetting your various chargers and adapters.) Next plug it into your phone, iPod, camera, laptop or other portable device of your choice, and charge that up.
All without going near your wall socket.
Or, if the air is slack and you’re getting a lot of sunshine, plug the miniSOLAR in. And if you’re not getting either, plug in the hand-crank. Strap it to your arm when you go running or cycling – and yes, HYmini have thought of this already.
The basic HYmini package (without miniSOLAR or hand-crank) is available now at the modest price of $50 and comes in charcoal, white and neon granny smith. I’m already there.