US company Unibat has introduced a line of pocketsize chargers for cellular telephone phones and other mobile consumer devices. Equipped with a small but powerful lithium ion battery, the charger can be connected by means of a USB cable to a phone, tablet, music player or Bluetooth headset whose battery is depleted, to recharge the instrument while powering it for immediate use. The Unibat charger itself can be recharged from the USB connection of a laptop or desktop computer, or any Unibat-approved charger.
The company is offering its top-of-the-line energy storage system, the PowerShake 2600, through a vending machine. It is expected to find wide acceptance in high-traffic public locations like malls and airports where mobile device users can’t find a socket to plug in a charger, or don’t have the time. It also appeals to mobile device users who don’t have an immediate need for recharging, but who wish to be prepared.
The vendable PowerShake 2600 is about the size of a lipstick and weighs less than 3 oz. Its name reflects its novel status display — the user simply shakes it to illuminate one of four LEDs whose colour indicates the battery charge. When fully charged, the PowerShake can deliver up to 2600 milliampere-hours of current. According to the manufacturer, this is sufficient to provide about 48 hours’ additional audio or 12 hours’ additional video playback, as much as 10 hours’ additional Web browsing with a WiFi connection or seven hours with 3G broadband service, and as much as nine hours’ additional 3G talk time, when it’s used with an Apple iPhone 4S. It is vended with a handy travel pouch, a 6″ micro USB cable and a user guide.
The vending machine, a VE Connect design, is built on Intel architecture. It’s equipped with a 46″ 1080p high-definition touchscreen display to show products in three dimensions, as well as product details. The machine includes a full suite of apps capable of supporting social media tie-ins, gifting and loyalty programmes. Payment options include card, cash, NFC and mobile wallet transactions. The machine can accommodate not only Unibat chargers, but also a variety of accessories, including micro USB and Apple Lightning cables, automotive chargers, headphones and wall chargers from Belkin and Samsung.