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Tag: charging

Practical Meter for USB Charging

Posted by Andrew at 5:09 PM on November 13, 2013

Practical MeterWith the plethora of USB charging power sources and charging rates, it was probably inevitable that someone would develop a meter to measure the power going to a device. The bragging rights go to Utah-based Power Practical and the Practical Meter, a USB in-line power meter. Looking much like a USB dongle, 5 LEDs show the power transfer from 1 W up to 10 W.

Originally a Kickstarter campaign that met its funding back in the July raising nearly $170,000, the Practical Meter has been today recognised as International CES Innovations 2014 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree.  “Just last week we shipped out the 10,000 pre-order units we received during our Kickstarter campaign to have the Practical Meter come to market,” says Matt Ford, CEO of Power Practical. “It’s crazy that a week later we’re being honored by something as prestigious as the CES Innovations awards.

As a pure USB device, it will work with anything that charges via USB such as smartphones, mp3 players or battery packs. Practical Meter is available now for $24.99 online and includes a 3-in-1 fast charge cable with mini-USB, micro-USB and Apple connectors.

Practical Meter Charging

MultiCharger-X by iLuv

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 7:23 AM on January 31, 2013

iLuvMultiCharger-X by iLuv can charge and sync up to ten iPads in at once. You can stack one MultiCharger-X on top of another. You can daisy chain up to three MultiCharger-X  in a row so you can sync up to thirty iPads with one MacBook. The box has a locking feature so you can lock the iPads up to keep them secure overnight. You have the option of putting casters on the bottom so you could roll it across the floor or you can also lock it to the floor. Each slot charges independently so you don’t need to fill all slots for it to work. There is an individual LED light to indicate charging level of each slot. You can go from charging to syncing with the touch of a button.

This type of device would be great for businesses where a lot of the employees use iPads. For example if you have a sales force and you want them to all to use the same PowerPoint presentation you could easily sync that presentation to multiply iPads from one Mac. Employees who use iPads for work could place them in a slot when they leave. The iPads then could be synced and charged over night so they would be ready for them in the morning

The MultiCharger X will be available around May-June and will cost $799. It should be available at various retail stores and on the iLuv website.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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ChargeDR claims it can boost USB charging time

Posted by Alan at 9:07 AM on January 10, 2013

If you have ever charged a device like a smartphone or tablet from a computer USB port then you have quickly realized how much longer it takes versus a wall outlet. There is a substantial power output difference between the two. Now a company has unveiled a new dongle at the Consumer Electronics Show that it claims will help fix this problem.

ChargeDR from Digital Innovations claims that it is designed because computers have less than half the power for charging smartphones and less than a quarter for tablets.

ChargeDr USB Charge Booster

Until this can be tested by users it remains a steep claim, especially since the company loves to talk watts, but to my understanding amps are just as important. In other words, there may be a bit of snake oil in this claim.

The product is currently listed as “coming soon” on the web site and no price is given. GNC will attempt to get one for independent testing of the claims.

UPDATE: I have spoken with Digital Innovations and will be receiving a ChargeDR for testing and review.

IOGEAR provides 11,000 mAh of portable charging

Posted by Alan at 4:50 AM on December 5, 2012

Do you have a big camping trip planned? Are you preparing for the next big storm? IOGEAR has released it’s new Ultra Capacity Mobile Power Station to get you ready for those and other events. The GMP10K packs in an incredible 11,000 mAh capacity to keep all of your devices alive when you run out of other options.

The new device has built-in short-circuit and over-charge prevention, temperature regulation, a carrying case, 2 USB ports, built-in short-circuit and over-charge protection and includes a wall charger and micro USB cable.

Micro USB makes the device compatible with almost any smartphone or tablet. Those with iOS devices will need to supply their own cable. The GMP10K is available from Amazon now for $63. It’s not particularly cheap, but for what you get it”s probably worth the expense.

Audi-Branded IDAPT Charger

Posted by Andrew at 12:22 AM on July 11, 2012

Both Todd and I are fans of IDAPT products; our reviews of the i4 and the i1 Eco are elsewhere on GNC. They’re great products that reduce the number of chargers, cables and general clutter lying around the house.

IDAPT has also shied away from only offering their products in black and white, with the i4 available in a raft of finishes, from solid colours through to funky patterns. Admittedly, they cost a bit extra over the black and white versions but at least they’re an option.

Taking this further, I recently noticed that IDAPT has created a few promotional versions in conjunction with Audi. I snapped this one up from ebay last week. Apart from the graphic, it’s a standard i4 universal charger, with three charging points on the top and a USB socket on the side. There’s a second version featuring a rev counter but I’ve not seen one of those at an affordable price.

IDAPT Audi

I subsequently found the Audi Merchandise Shop but the chargers don’t seem to feature there at the moment.

Perhaps IDAPT could offer a version that you could customise yourself, maybe with pictures of your family or similar. For a device that is often on display in a hall or study, it would be a nice touch.

 

VidaBox Introduces Power-Over-Cat5 Charging

Posted by Alan at 10:41 AM on May 31, 2012

VidaBox, makers of high-end Media Center computers and media servers, today announced a brand new product that brings charging capability to your Cat5 cables.  There are actually two new products – the vPower Station and the vCharger.  To my knowlege, VidaBox is the first manufacturer in this field, although there have been ways of extending USB via Cat5 around previously.

The vPower Station can connect a single CAT5/5e/6 cable at up to 328 feet [100m] long, and provide steady power to the vCharger, which has a powered USB port.  The vPower Station is a 4 port adapter.  The vCharger has one ethernet port and one USB port for charging a device.  The vCharger is also backwards compatible with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches as power sources.

While both devices are aimed at custom installers, as are most of the VidaBox products (they even state in their press release that “The vCharger can be also used in a table-top environment, or custom-built into new or existing furniture, as its gloss black finish gives it a high-end look that blends into any environment,”), the retail price makes them a real possibility for the general consumer market.

Both products, the vPower Station and vCharger, retail for $99 each and the purchase of 4 vChargers will get your a free vPower Station.  You can head over to the VidaBox site to check them out, find out more, and place an order.

VidaBox Debuts New vCharger & vPower : Complete Power-over-CAT5 Charging Solution for USB Devices

IDAPT Universal Multichargers at The Gadget Show

Posted by Andrew at 4:14 PM on April 12, 2012

The need to charge today’s mobile gadgets on an almost daily basis is one of the downsides of faster processors and bigger screens. Although companies like Palm have tried to introduce inductive charging, most gadgets need to be simply plugged in. This leads to the proliferation of wall chargers and a mess of cables.

IDAPT‘s solutions bring order to the chaos with multi-device chargers that have interchangeable charging tips to suit the device being charged – smartphones, portable game consoles, tablets, digital cameras, even rechargeable batteries.

The i4 can charge three devices on top with a fourth on the side (right) and the i2+ takes two on top (bottom left). The i1 eco is a portable charger (middle) and only charges one device but is made from recycled plastic.

IDAPT Charging Units

The bright yellow IDAPT S1 Universal Speaker is shown below with an iPad but it’s device agnostic and uses Bluetooth rather than the device connector to transmit the music. I’ve been looking for a decent speaker dock that works with something other than an Apple device so I’ll be taking a hard look at this one.

IDAPT Loudspeaker Dock

I chat with Myles Pomfret, IDAPT’s country manager at The Gadget Show Live to find out more about these versatile chargers.

What’s New in USB

Posted by Alan at 11:59 AM on February 19, 2012

Jeff Ravencraft, President and CEO of the USB Implementers Forum, was recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to talk a little about what is going on with USB these days.  For a bit of background, the USB Implementers Forum sets the standards for what products can use the official USB logo on their gear and also trains retailers about what it all means to consumers.

USB 3.0, branded “USB SuperSpeed” has recently arrived and is beginning to find it’s way into products hitting the market now.  The organization recently certified two new Intel chipsets for USB SuperSpeed, bringing the total number of certified products now on the market to more than 360.  In the video below you can find out a little bit more about what to expect from USB 3.0, such as syncing speeds, power efficiency, and charging speed.  You will also get a sneak peak about a new power delivery spec that is coming out soon.  Find out more here.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.

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iPowerUp Charging Cases and Pico Projector

Posted by Andrew at 8:40 AM on February 16, 2012

iPower Pro Pico ProjectorToday’s power-hungry smartphones need recharged on a regular basis – you’d be lucky to get two days work out of one. iPowerUp have products to alleviate this problem: Andy and Courtney chat to Jerry Bessa, CEO.

iPowerUp offers a range of charging cases for iPhone that provide physical protection combined with a lithium-polymer battery to double the usage time. Both the phone and the battery can be charged through micro-USB port without removing the iPhone. Price is $60. Further variants have a built-in FM transmitter to play music through car radios and another has a solar cell on the back.

Amazingly, iPowerUp has managed to cram a mini DLP projector into a charging case that’s only a little bit bigger than an iPhone. The iPower Pro will display at 640×360 resolution but can create a projection up to 60″ from 9’6″ away. Of course it will need to be in a darkened room to achieve this full size and a smaller projection will be far more watchable. Priced at $229, it’s on sale now.

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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Fulton Innovation Brings Wireless Charging Everywhere

Posted by Alan at 11:05 PM on February 4, 2012

Fulton Innovation was a founding member of the Wireless Power Consortium and were recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to show off their latest, no pun intended, innovations.  They are working to unify a standard for wireless charging of all of your devices from phones to tablets and more.  The standard is called Qi (pronounced “Chi”) and it will bring together all of the makers of your favorite mobile devices and allow them all to charge wirelessly in a standards-based way.  Users will be able to charge a smartphone simply by sitting it on a table, or in many other ways.

Fulton Innovation is looking at a lot more than just phones and tablets though.  They are looking at entering your kitchen with such things as wireless blenders that will charge right on your countertop, induction ranges, even charging your electric car by simply parking it in a particular space.

All of this futuristic sounding technology has been developed and was on display at CES.  Now Fulton Innovation is working with third-party manufacturers to get their technology built and out into the marketplace.  You can visit them online to find out more and you will definitely want to watch the video below.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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