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Charge Your Phone the Lo-Fi Way

CityLab logo CityLab 8/18/2015 Vicky Gan
Image © 2015 Design on Impulse © Provided by CityLab © 2015 Design on Impulse

From pocket solar panels and kinetic energy-converting armbands to wireless inductive charging docks, the portable phone charger market looks more and more like science fiction every day. But for those of who prefer a refreshingly lo-fi alternative—or just have a backlog of AA batteries around the house—a gadget called the Nipper will do in a pinch.

© 2015 Design on Impulse © Provided by CityLab © 2015 Design on Impulse

The Nipper holds two AA batteries in place with magnets and plugs into your smartphone’s micro-USB port to deliver an extra jolt of power—about ten percent with a 30-minute charge and 20 percent with a one-hour charge. Built for quick bursts and emergencies rather than full fuel-ups, it’s perfect for those times when you’re trapped in a subway station and don’t want to risk arrest by plugging into an outlet.

© 2015 Design on Impulse © Provided by CityLab © 2015 Design on Impulse

Measuring 17mm cubed, the Nipper is hyper portable and fits on a keychain. So far it only works on phones with micro-USB connectors (Samsung, Nokia, HTC, and other Android models), but the designers say an iPhone-compatible option is in the works. The first Nippers start shipping in April 2016.

Nipper, $23, pre-order at Kickstarter.

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