nPower PEG: A Shake Weight That Can Charge Mobile Devices

Fremont Electric's nPower PegTremont Electric’s nPower® PEG is a kinetic energy, USB charging device was originally released in 2010 and charges its built-in battery through an up/down motion against gravity. The latest 2012 model weighs in at 14 oz. and is sleeker, incorporates a carrying hoop and has doubled its lithium polymer battery capacity to 2000mAh – enough to charge an iPhone 4 up to 75%. The nPower® PEG is designed for bikers, hikers and runners who can generate a little possibly-needed juice when they venture out of the house.

The price of the nPower® PEG is a little steep at $169. But compared to solar backpacks (around $200) that need to charge in direct sunlight, the nPower® PEG has an advantage of being able to re-charge in any condition or season. Check out the complete FAQ on their site for more information on the nPower® PEG. [nPower® PEG]

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The Hive Dock For iPhone 4

[youtube width=”425″ height=”260″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdA2uWQTrc8[/youtube]
One of the Jubblingest features of the iPhone 4 is that when it’s paired with Netflix’s Instant’s TV and movie catalog, it works as a low-power consuming alternative for watching television. The only downside is that the iPhone 4 is only viewable and barely audible for one person. The Hive dock might change that to two or more. It’s a simple and ingenious way to listen to amplified music and watch expanded video from your iPhone 4. It’s done through design and does not require a separate power source. The Hive’s video magnifying glass is a little reminiscent of products available in the 1970’s that magnified our TV screens.

The Hive will sell for $45 and is expected to be available in September 2011. The company behind the product, Screendoor Studio, is busy trying to raise funds through Kickstarter. Watching the video above, it’s apparent that one of the drawbacks using the magnified lens would be reduced viewing angle; only the person directly in front of the screen will get a magnified, full image. Plus, for amplified audio, a coffee cup seems to be an easy Macgyver solution.

But the Hive docking station could still be a nice iPhone 4 accessory for watching video, as an alarm clock and speaker amplifier. You’ll easily save $45 in electricity and batteries versus watching standard TV and using external speakers.

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Science&Sons Phonofone III Or Ceramic Coffee Cup?

Ok, the Phonofone III is a great idea. It’s a self-powered ceramic iPhone 4 speaker that kicks out sound in much the same way as the old gramophone wind-up phonographs worked. Your iPhone 4 sits in a base with its speakers pointed down and the audio is channeled, amplified and sent out of the cone shaped speaker. According to Science&Sons’ website, the Phonofone will amplify your iPhone’s audio 4x’s elevating it to 60 dB without the need for electricity. The Phonofone is currently being sold directly by Science&Sons for $195 + shipping.

Done deal – let’s buy one, right? Not really. Gizmodo, one of my favorite sites, always encourages visitors to post comments about the article they just read and the Phonofone III had its share. One of the recurring themes in the comments pushed the idea that the Phonofone III is cool but can be easily duplicated by putting your iPhone 4 in a ceramic coffee cup. I had to try it myself and not surprisingly, it worked great. I didn’t measure how much the audio amplified in the coffee cup but it was a obvious improvement. Changing the angle of my iPhone 4 in the coffee cup also tweaked the bass and treble levels.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the Jubbling built into the electricity-free Phonofone III but I’m just not in a rush to go out and buy one. Maybe a smaller and less expensive version that also worked as a coffee cup might be enough to justify my purchase. Or maybe Science&Sons could create a version that was clear and let your iPhone 4 sit behind magnified glass – then you could amplify your audio and magnify your video. Or maybe I should just stick with the coffee cup for now.

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