Running out of juice costs people more time than a renegade Doctor Who. Shouting “Switch to Emergency Power!” might sound like Star Trek’s Scotty, but how often have you found yourself nursing that single flashing battery bar while you wait for an important call? Squinting over a dimmed display so your laptop doesn’t die during the meeting? Hoping it’ll hold on so hard it’s like you’re trying to focus your body’s electricity into the electronics?
The simplest solution is to make sure that your devices never run dry — and while you’re at it, make sure you never make any mistakes, ever, and just assume that everything will always work and it won’t ever rain. The truly smart living person really saves time by planning for disaster — so while others waste time swearing at hardware that can’t even switch on (let alone hear them), and hours more on recovery, the properly prepared need never stop getting things done.
Here we look at some great gadgets that combine cool with convenience, keeping all your electronics in the green almost anywhere on Earth.
1. Energi To Go
In a combination no trend-conscious techie could risk missing, Energizer has constructed a collection of covers designed to boost iPhone battery life — useful for those who find life difficult without their iConnection. The Energi To Go is far more functional than any previous phone case, in that this one is actually functional: it hooks into the iPhone’s existing charging dock and in decent sunshine can double the life of a charge. Merely cool for those in the city, but absolutely essential for those apps on any weekends away — and the charging jacket can be adapted to any number of other electronics.
2. The Zegna Solar Jacket
Significantly higher on the style spectrum (and cost continuum) is the Zegna SolarSki Jacket. It might be a bit of a custom item, but if you must spend time on the sunny slopes (you poor victim) you might as well charge anything in your pocket. The SolarSki Jacket puts panels in a removable neck ruff, charging any USB compatible devices in your pocket — vital if you want to stay in touch when you’re a little inconveniently placed for a socket, or just can’t slalom the slopes without some sounds.
3. Windup Mobile Charger
Perhaps more pedestrian, and certainly less expensive, is the Wind-UP mobile charger. Where the Solar Ski Jacket is for someone on top of the world, the Wind-UP charger is a realist’s emergency response. Nevermind batteries running dry, this gadget could make all the difference in a real emergency situation. With a very respectable cranking ratio (where one minute of work gets you three minutes of talk or half an hour’s standby), this system is a sensible addition to any emergency kit. And if you don’t have an emergency kit, then you’re welcome for the reminder.
4. Solar Charging Hub
The most omni-applicable option has to be the Solar Charging USB Hub. With more personal gadgets than ever before adapting to USB charging, and an array of adapters available for those who lag behind the times, the 4-port USB solar charging hub is a must-have for the frequent traveller. And that includes going where the sun doesn’t shine. The slick little hub can also be charged by AC power, connection to a laptop, and even the ancient option of the car charger.
Image credit: ArmanDavtyan / iStockphoto