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Charge Your Phone With A Drink Coaster?

Submitted by on February 10, 2013 – 12:46 pmOne Comment

Usually, combining phones and beverages only results in disaster. But that cold brew may actually be able to power your mobile device. The team at Epiphany One Puck claims to have built a working prototype for a drink coaster that charges your phone using only energy from a hot or cold beverage- no outlet necessary.

CNET reports that the Puck uses a Stirling engine to convert heat disparities into power. One side of the Puck is for hot sources, the other for cold. Theoretically, any heat source could work on the Puck, but the designers are starting with drinks.

The company is now trying to raise $100,000 on Kickstater. Early prices for the device range from $99-$115.

It’s definitely one of the more creative portable chargers available. While most are powered by batteries or by charging the charger itself beforehand, the Puck is one of a few that tries to harness some kind of other, easily available energy source. Others include solar and even hand-powered phone chargers.

I can’t decide yet if this is a great, useful idea, or more of a novelty. Are notably hot or cold things really more available than power outlets? As Starbucks starts covering up outlets to disparage laptop users from staying, a java-powered charger would be useful. Alternatively, I can imagine people placing a hand over the Puck, and letting their own body heat charge a phone… pushing us one step closer to the Matrix.

What do you think?

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