It is a technophile’s worst nightmare: being stranded away from home with no power outlet to charge a depleted gadget. There are plenty of options out there for backup batteries and power banks of all sorts, but rarely will you find something that fits comfortably into your pocket alongside your smartphone.
Designers Haimo Bao, Hailong Piao, Yuancheng Liu & Xiameng Hu propose Continuance as a brilliantly simple solution to this dilemma: an incredibly portable charger that literally just inserts a USB port into the side of a standard sized battery. No special cables are required — just use your normal phone charging cable to access the juice stored inside. The Continuance line of USB backup batteries is rechargeable, too, so when you deplete one, you can just pop it into the recharger and grab a freshly charged one to replace it.
The USB plug allows users to charge gadgets when away from home – provided they can remember to slip one or two of the batteries into their pockets before leaving. But they’re so small, why not just keep several sets of these backup batteries handy in your laptop bag, gym bag, suitcase and jacket pockets? It’s easy to imagine backpackers taking these along on long trips, too, so they can still text, make calls and take photos whenever they have access to a signal.
The concept, an iF Concept Design 2011 entry, is a clever answer to a common problem. It may need some further development before it can go into production, but when/if it does we’ll be first in line to take some home. Theoretically, at least, it’s a lot better than the brick style power banks that are commonly offered as a solution to the frustrating “no outlet” problem. Would you buy these USB batteries if they were available in stores?