As more and more power hungry gadgets find their way into the market, the need for a universal mobile power backup battery becomes apparent. Philips recognized this need and developed a line of several devices with different capabilities to recharge portable devices ranging from cell phones and MP3 players to portable computers. The Philips SCE7640 offers up to 60 hours of charge and up to 20V (enough for most laptops). A different model, called SCM7880, has a USB connector and six different plugs and according to Philips is good for up to 15 charge hours with 5V. The last model is the SCE2110, which is specifically designed for mobile phones. The models come with a LED indicator displaying the battery charge status and a space-saving foldable power plug.
There are currently several other solutions for supplying extra power on the go. Portable solar chargers and solar bags are one way to go (although they require a sunny day, a fairly long charge time and are sometimes expensive). Fuel cells, which can be refilled with ethanol to provide very long battery life, are another form of an on-the-road power supply. Fuel cell technology is starting to take its first steps towards providing a viable solution. However, despite a great deal of research and development in recent years it seems that actual consumer products will not arrive at the market before the end of the decade.
Anyway you look at it, it seems that devices such as those developed by Philips will become more and more common in the next few years, at least until we find a way to power our portable devices wirelessly.
More information on Philips’ Power4Life series can be found on the company’s press release from IFA 2007 in Berlin.