Japanese company invents hot-pot phone-charger: Just add fire

Following the recent disaster in Northern Japan. which was severely damaged by earthquakes and the resulting tsunami, one company has created a new (but old) way to charge your phone- with fire.

The Hatsuden-Nabe thermo-electric cookpot uses the energy from a boiling water pot to charge devices through a USB port, which is then compatible with a wide range of portable devices- and most mobile phones.

TES NewEnergy, based in Osaka, began selling the pot-charger this month for 24,150Y (£186) where it hopes to plug the gap in places lacking (or with erratic) power grids.

The pot has thermoelectric strips which generate electricity based on temperature differences between the 100-degree water and the 550-degree pot.

Chief executive Kazuhiro Fujita said it was the recent disaster that lead to the thermo-electric cookpot: "when I saw the TV footage of the quake victims making a fire to keep themselves warm, I came up with the idea of helping them to charge their mobile phones at the same time."

The device takes three to five hours to charge an iPhone, with the addition of hot water for cooking.

"unlike a solar power generator, our pot can be used regardless of time of day and weather while its small size allows people to easily carry it in a bag in case of evacuation," said the co-developer Ryoji Funahashi.

The company says the pot is aimed primarily at emergency situations and outdoor activities, but could develop a huge following in developing countries.

"There are many places around the world that lack the electric power supply for charging mobile phones," Fujita said. "In some African countries, for example, it's a bother for people to walk to places where they can charge mobile phones. we would like to offer our invention to those people."

Compared to Orange’s sound-absorbing, T-shirt-based phone-charger, it’s a very different phone charger for a very different situation.

Via: Economic Times

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