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Summary:

Kickstarter continues to drain my monthy mobile gadget budget, this time for POP, which is short for “portable power.” The nicely designed device looks like a small trash can in shape, holding a 25,000 mAh battery and four retractable cords for iOS and micro-USB devices.

pop-at-beach

Kickstarter continues to drain my monthly mobile gadget budget, this time for a product called POP, which is short for “portable power.” The nicely designed device looks like a short, squatty trash can in shape and contains a 25,000 mAh battery, which is good enough to charge most smartphones at least a dozen times. Hiding underneath, however, is the secret sauce, because with POP you can charge multiple devices at one time.

Between the stubby legs of the POP are four retractable USB cables. Each can change a single device and all four can be used simultaneously for powering various smartphones and tablets. I always carry a retractable USB cable similar to those found on POP, as they’re so useful for charging and syncing devices. In addition to the limited space such cables take, those on the POP have dual ends: The 30-pin dock connector for iOS devices hides a micro USB port for non-Apple devices.


In theory then, I could use the POP to charge my iPhone, Nexus 7 tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone while still leaving an open cord for a family member to charge their phone too. I wouldn’t likely carry the POP everywhere; it’s a bit bulky for that and I have smaller, more portable chargers to take with me. But as I found out earlier this month on a family vacation, a mobile charging solution that can top off multiple devices would be very useful.

The team behind the POP expects to ship the devices by December of this year if its $50,000 funding goal is met by Sept. 1. As of this writing, the project has 76 backers with $10,336 in pledged funding. As an early bird, I took advantage of the discounted $129 price available to the first 50 backers; POP will retail for $199 but there are still some $149 funding deals at this time. And even a $1 pledge gives you the option to purchase POP at $149 in the future.

 

Thanks to the retractable cords, I could even see myself use the POP as a charging hub at home. I have too many devices in multiple rooms right now because I need various outlets to charge them all. By plugging in the POP, perhaps in my bedroom, I can group the four most-used mobile devices and keep them charged while also gaining a large portable battery for travel. POP may have additional uses in the future as well. The team is open sourcing the design so that other can make add-ons for the top of the product, such as a speaker or solar charger.

  1. Ummmmm…put a plastic cylinder around a battery and charge $200. What didn’t I think of that?!

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    1. Bob, I have heard the same comments about other things like the iPad. I hope we are as successful with such a silly product.

      Kevin, can’t wait to get your feedback when you get the product! Thanks for backing it!

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      1. Looking forward to the product, Jamie, and you can count on me for feedback. ;) Good luck!

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      2. You’re supplying incomplete specification, mAh without voltage tells you nothing about the energy capacity. (This is a huge pet peeve of mine when it comes to reviews, I want joules, watt-hours, or at least the nominal voltage + amp-hours).

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  2. Just standerize on Android, you only need a micro USB charger. You can also use that european iPhone charger adopter.

    The problem with this rice cooker thing? 25000 mAH is going to be heavier than a bowling ball. FYI I have 2 spear batteries for each of my gadgets. Using the usb ports too much may cause damage.

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  3. This solution cost only $99. I’ve had it for a good two years, and it does essentially the same, only this is compact enough to go on your belt:

    http://lgponthemove.blogspot.com/2012/04/lifestyles-of-mobile-road-warrior-all.html

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    1. That looks really cool, I have something similar and got it for less then $99. But it’s only good if you are one person with one device or multiple devices with cords that are able to connect to its various inputs. Going by the images on the site, it appears to have one USB port to plug in for charging. So, on top of only one person with a USB cable being able to charge at a time, you also need to have the cord to charge with you.

      This thing has the cords built in, and there’s four of each type. It’s not for walking around. Its for setting up at a location where you’re going to be.

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  4. Jay Hamilton Monday, July 23, 2012

    Interesting… The tech equivalent to what I’ve been using. I noticed one day that my portable jumpstart (self contained battery to aid in jump starting a car) has a power outlet on the back. I just use whatever car charger fits the device, and I am set! This will charge my iphone for a couple weeks of full-on GPS usage outdoors.

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  5. Gee, imagine if Apple designed their devices with accessible and removable batteries! That would really be thinking different (ly).

    You wouldn’t need to buy worthless gee-gaws like this bandaid.

    Then again, the product might have more than an 18 month lifespan… Apple wouldn’t want that!

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