In June we showed you these photos of startup M2E Power’s motion-powered external cell-phone charger, which could be on sale as early as next year. Monday morning, the Boise, Idaho-based company is officially announcing that device, which can provide an hour of talk time for some six hours of normal movement (about two days), and will cost somewhere between $25 to $40.
What’s new is that the latest development of the device also includes a flip-down AC plug option, which means it can be used as a standard phone charger when you haven’t quite racked up those movement minutes (see photo above). That will make it an easier sell for phone companies’ accessories divisions, which haven’t started implementing much motion-powered technology into phones or chargers yet.
The company says it is currently in licensing discussions with several cell phone accessory makers and distributors for global distribution. If the price can come down enough, we could see the gadget making headway in developing countries where cell phone proliferation is growing fast, but the power grid lags behind. Back in November the company raised $8 million from OVP Venture Partners, @Ventures and Highway 12 Ventures.
The technology, which is licensed from Idaho National Lab and is made up by a microgenerator and a battery storage system, works according to the principles of Faraday’s law of induction; the law states that moving a conductor through a magnetic field will induce a current in that conductor proportional to the speed of movement.