And I don’t mean plug the cell-phone in at home while you go on a ride, I mean charge your cell-phone on your bike while you’re riding. Employing a simple piece of technology that those familiar with the old Schwinn generator lights may recognize, Nokia’s new bicycle charger kit uses old technology in a head-slappingly simple kind of way.
The ‘dynamo,’ or generator, is mounted to the fork and positioned against the front tire. As the bike moves, the creates energy within the dynamo which is used to power the cell phone while you ride. No movement, no charge. Simple, efficient, and a completely free source of power, after the initial purchase of the equipment at around €15 ($18USD)), this charger would be perfect for the commuter on the go, or the more dedicated randonneur.
It’s a wonder nobody has thought of doing this yet, though perhaps the resistance to develop such a simple form of technology has been a result of the numerous accidents that have resulted from cyclists talking or texting while riding their bikes. This is never a good idea, and I’m sure Nokia is well-aware of the dangers associated with such incompetent forms of multi-tasking. Of course, if your phone has a GPS or other directional equipment, the charge-while-ride concept would drastically save on battery life and be useful when extra sources of power are limited.
PedalPower+ has also developed a bike charger which will charge “GPS units, mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players and mobile phones [which] require 5V up to 600mA, DC input to recharge them.” Though, because the technology is more sophisticated, so too is the price.
So if you’re biking on a budget, then Nokia has your cheapest and best solution. No word yet on the final release date.