A new gadget allows travelers to charge their smartphones and tablets by plugging them into a rolling suitcase, giving increasingly connected people another way to keep devices operating without a traditional power source.
The rolling hard-shell suitcase, designed by Jung Inyoung, features several parts. Two gears on the bag’s wheels collect kinetic energy as travelers walk around, storing it into a charging battery. The top of the suitcase itself has a portable battery charger where travelers can plug in dying smartphones or tablets.
The suitcase also has a LED indicator that lets users check the power stored in the charger. Inyoung hasn’t said how much power the battery holds, so there’s no indication the suitcase will fully charge a device, but travelers likely will appreciate having at least some power for their gadgets while they’re on the road.
The rolling suitcase charger looks like a regular pull-along suitcase, but since it also functions as a charger, it serves a dual purpose, which could be handy for travelers who can’t always depend on finding an open outlet.
The rolling suitcase charger does not have a release date yet, but it isn’t the first unusual charger that allows people to charge their phones while performing an everyday task.
For example, the Hitochaja HC-5 saucepan, announced last year, turns heat into power, creating a 400 milliamp with an USB output that can give most mobile devices a jump start, while likely not allowing enough power for more than a few minutes of work.
Other companies, though, are concentrating on solar power, including making cases that harness the sun to charge smartphones. However, manufacturers have had difficulty in devising cases with large-enough solar panels to adequately gather enough solar power to fuel energy-hungry mobile devices.
The rolling suitcase, though, depends less on an outside source of power, like the sun or heat, and more on users’ willingness to power their devices through their own activities, finally making transfers between airport gates during layovers somewhat useful during journeys.
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