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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Boost your iPhone with a hand-cranked battery case

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Gridcase)

If you've ever been caught on the go with a dying iPhone, the Reactor case might be just the emergency power supply you need.

For all our tech wizardry, things can still go wrong — and do. Frequently. We haven't, for example, managed to come up with a battery that can cope with heavy smartphone demands for more than a day or so, and still be a reasonable size.

Gridcase thinks it may have a solution; for the iPhone, at least. For those last-minute power emergencies, it has come up with the Reactor — a case with a built-in generator and removable crank-handle for producing a few skerrick of power when you're in a bind.

The Reactor Crowd Supply crowd funding page reads:

A dead smartphone battery at a critical moment is a problem that almost every smartphone user has experienced at some point. Since the Reactor is embedded into the phone's case, there's never a circumstance where the phone is without power. A small built-in battery provides enough of a boost to revive a dead phone, while manually cranking the generator can extend the battery life of the iPhone indefinitely.

That "indefinitely" has us raising a brow; generating power by hand isn't likely to produce a lot of power, and we imagine producing enough from a dead battery to make a short phone call would take at least a few minutes. That said, details are thin on the ground, with Gridcase not even producing a physical prototype of the case yet, instead relying on 3D renders and a patent application.

The physical specifications for the as-yet-non-existent device include:

  • 400mAh boost battery

  • 500mA manual generator

  • 8.5mm thickness

  • 127g weight

With a shipping date slated for October this year, US$99 will get you one Gridcase Reactor at the early bird rate, with a normal price set at US$129 when that runs out. If you're interested, you can pledge your support here.


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