Medis Technologies is producing a $20 disposable direct borohydride fuel cell. The product will have several different charging connectors for compatibility with a variety of devices.
- It is capable of sustaining your cell phone for up to 30 hours of talk time, and operating some ipods as much as 60-80 hours.
- It’s ready for immediate use (no recharging necessary).
- It’s safe to use (nonflammable, nontoxic).
- It’s environmentally friendly, with no mercury, cadmium, or other harmful metals.
- Convenient size and lightweight.
- Cost effective.
- It "Bridges the power gap" for 3G and 4G cell phones.
The "24/7" power pack bridges the gap by providing ready backup power for extended use, for less than additional rechargeable packs for your device. It also allows you to recharge while using, eliminating the "gap time" you get by changing batteries in your portable device.
It looks like you will see the Medis power packs show up in the big box retailers under the Kensington name, and will be distributed by Superior communications to mobile retailers. ASE International, Inc will distribute the Medis "24/7" Power Pack through other outlets.
This power tech is not just going to consumers, but also quite possibly to the military. The modern soldier is constantly increasing his need for power to his support equipment such as radios, night vision, and portable mine detection. Medis shipped 200 units to General Dynamics last year for testing.
Like the article title says, owning fuel cell technology first is going to have some initial "cool" factor. But it’s bulkier than a spare Li-ion battery or two, rather too much for the average pocket. And some may be hesitant to adopt a new technology, when even older, proven technologies sometimes prove to be hazardous (a la "The Flaming Sonys"). Finally, there do exist methods of recharging your portable devices with commonly available alkaline batteries. The fuel cell will have to prove itself by proving safe and reliable, and by providing superior power density and/or shelf life to combat these potential problems. Does the "24/7" fuel cell have what it takes?