Imagine charging your self phone in seconds instead of hours. Professor Gerbrand Ceder from MIT has devised a new lithium-ion battery electrode that is many times faster than its predecessors. While most discharge at a rate of a minute and a half with the best high powered batteries, this one works in only 10 to 20 seconds. That rate will allow a 1 liter battery to deliver about 25,000W, enough power for about 20 vacuum cleaners. Ceder and his team modified lithium iron phosphate, an electrode material, so that electrons and ions could move more quickly.
Current lithium rechargeable batteries can store large amounts of energy but don’t have the acceleration speed. Professor Cedar claims that because the material is not new, but simply remade, scientists could conceivably market it in the next couple of years.
We know, you’re wondering why on Earth we’d be recommending a surge protector as a gift, right? Well, the Belkin Conserve line is actually pretty cool. In the interest of being green, we are recommending a power strip that is great for the eco-concious folks in your life. You’re able to turn off all connected devices with one switch. Outlets are spaced out to support those unsightly bulky ones, and there is even a remote you can use to control the flow of power. Since electronics pull power, even when powered off, that means you’re wasting electricity constantly unless you unplug your devices when you are done using them. The Belkin Concserve fixes that. They retail for $49.99, but we were able to find them for 24% less - $38.24 at Amazon.
Read More | Belkin Conserve
Who says that power strips need to be flat, horizontal, or bulky? If your computer is backed into a corner and you never seem to have enough outlets, consider designer Takumi Yoshida’s answer, the Revolve. The electrical hub rotates 360º making it a lot simpler in cramped quarters. Still at the prototype stage, Takumi admits on his Coroflot page that he has seen devices similar to his, but we say there is plenty of room for the competition. Contact him if you are interested in his Revolve.
Read More | Yanko Design
Call it being green or minimal exercise for your wrist. The Hand-Crank USB Power Charger can recharge cameras, cell phones or any other piece of electronics with USB access. The device, at a size of 2 1/2 x 4 x 1 1/2-inches and a weight of 6 oz., will work with most Motorola, Samsung, Nokia, and LG phones with included adapters. Crank away when you are out of electric range or use the AC adapter when at home. The charger is available for $39.95.
Read More | National Geographic Online Store
While we were certainly impressed by Belkin’s latest surge protector, this one from Tributaries is equally fierce. The T12 has 12 outlets, with 8 of them capable of rotating 90°. With 8 UL listings, the gadget features a resettable circuit breaker, a red LED to let you know you are surge protected, and a blue one for grounding. If you live in the U.S., you get a $25,000 connected equipment warranty in addition to a 3 year parts and labor warranty. The T12 has a MSRP of $120.00.
If you want to make your mark on the planet tonight, join the global Earth Hour. Created by the World Wildlife Fund, sign up on the site before 8:00 p.m.your time. Then turn off that computer, light candles, and disconnect any unnecessary appliances. Tell a friend about it, too. Even Google is in on the action if you noticed its background today. Cities include New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Phoenix, Pasadena, Charlotte, Chicago, Honolulu, San Clemente, Minneapolis, Portland, Montreal, Bogotá, and Montreal. For a complete listing of North American cities, check this Earth Hour site. Think of it as giving some extra energy for your kid’s generation.
Read More | Earth Hour
If you are not content with a basic tabletop Neon Happy Face, you can customize your own design with snap-together letters in this DIY kit. The sealed 2 x 3-inch blue blocks issue low heat and energy, and can connect up to 22 of them horizontally with a single power source. There are letters, numbers, and characters to choose from and it features a push button for steady or blinking lights. Priced between $3.99 apiece to $29.99 for a set, we could see using it to wish your neighbors a holiday greeting or, for even more prophetic fun in your neighborhood, “The End is Near!”
Read More | ThinkGeek
The new Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger seems to be all the rage across the Internets over the past couple of days. After checking it out, we think it’s with good reason. After traveling to events like CES and SXSW, we know how much power outlets and USB chargers are a commodity. Belkin solves a bit of that here by providing a surge protector that offers three power ports alongside two USB charging ports. Very clever, as we know that we have been left charging devices - that support USB charging - using the AC adaptor. Good job there. It also frees up the USB ports on your laptop when you are on the go, which we know is particularly important if you are toting around a MacBook Air.
You can pick one of these up for $25 from Belkin’s product store.
Read More | Belkin
While not the fuel cell battery replacement for gadgets we keep hearing about Horizon is promising some very cool technology nonetheless: portable, enviromentally friendly power on demand - just add water! Their portable generator technology is aimed at disaster relief, outdoor, and developing countries. The totally recyclable cartridges have an infinate shelf life until activated, and can be activated by adding plain old water - no filtration neccesary. Check out the video for more details on this cool new tech.
Cordless extension cords? Powerbeam has it covered. Right now, Powerbeam is perfecting a wireless, laser-based power transfer system that can act as an extension cord to power devices using a line-of-sight system that will send power as far as you need it to go. The lasers are about the size of pepper flakes, and will transfer tens of watts of power, and in the future could transfer more.
Powerbeam has patented a battery powered safety system on the back end of the product that will stop the laser (which creates a warm feeling where it comes into contact with a person, nothing ray gun-esque here) when someone crosses its path.
Powerbeam estimates that their power transfer system is 12 months out to the consumer market.