Reactor for iPhone 5 builds hand-charger into case

21 Mar 2013
Reactor for iPhone 5

iPhone 5 case features hand-cranked charger to boost battery life

Running out of battery on an iPhone 5 could be a thing of the past if one crowd-funded project is successful.

Gridcase has created the Reactor for iPhone 5, a case with a built-in, hand-cranked battery charger, letting users wind up the smartphone to extend battery life.

"A dead smartphone battery at a critical moment is a problem that almost every smartphone user has experienced at some point," Gridcase said. "Since the Reactor is embedded into the phone’s case, there’s never a circumstance where the phone is without power. A small built-in battery provides enough of a boost to revive a dead phone while manually cranking the generator can extend the battery life of the iPhone indefinitely."

The device measures 8.5mm thick and weighs 127g, more than doubling the iPhone 5's 112g weight.

The Reactor for iPhone 5 will cost $129, although the first 10,000 sold will be discounted to $99. The creators are targeting an October 2013 launch, but development is still in the early stages.

Battery life continues to be a problem with smartphones. Other hand-cranked rechargers already exist - and for much cheaper - but are standalone devices rather than integrated into a case. For example, the SOSCharger on Kickstarter is a small device that' attaches to a smartphone via a USB cable, promising ten to 15 minutes' talk time for three to five minutes of charging. It costs $45.

The iPhone 5 was chosen as the first case because of its smaller form factor, not because of any problems with its battery life. "Once the challenges presented by this design were overcome, other smartphone cases would be fast and easy to create", Gridcase said.

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