Daily Giz Wiz 748: nPower Peg

Episode 748 of the podcast

nPower Peg
Subject: Review of nPower Peg
Released:Wednesday 21 January 2009
Length:about 13 minutes
Download file:dgw0748.mp3 (6.1 MB)

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Short info

Power your cell phone or device with the kinetic energy-powered nPower PEG.

Detailed information

Yet another green gadget from CES 2009, the nPower PEG (Personal Energy Generator) is an electrical generator, a 9" tall baton, 1.5" diameter in the centre, and 1" in diameter at the top and bottom, and weighing 9 ounces.  You place it vertically in your backpack or briefcase, or hang it from your bicycle or even your belt if you don't mind looking like a dork, and the kinetic energy in the vibrations caused by your walking movements is harvested by the PEG and converted into electrical energy for charging your mobile electronic devices, such as an iPod, iPhone, Blackberry and other cellphones via USB.  There is no built-in rechargeable battery, and you charge the mobile device directly from the PEG.

nPower claims that the PEG can produce up to 4 Watts of power (i.e. 4 Joules per second), and can give you an 80% battery charge within one hour (though not specifying what type of battery).

Dick and Leo are sceptical about its prospects of success, and Leo would like to see how it works.  The idea of swinging a 9" baton from under your belt is too dorky even for Leo, and the projected price of $150 is perhaps too much to pay.

The Late Show Tonight

After Johnny Carson retired from the Tonight Show on NBC, David Letterman hoped that he would be given the spot but it was given to Jay Leno instead.  When CBS offered to give him his own nightly show, to be filmed in the renovated Ed Sullivan Theater, he decided to move over to CBS, hosting the Late Show to compete with NBC's Tonight Show.

The Powermat

One of products that caught a lot of attention at CES this year was the Powermat, a mat that charges up your devices using magnetic induction.  No more wires and umpteen different chargers and bricks involved.  The system consists of a mat (5 models: for Home, Bedside, Desk, Travel and PC+) and a receiver (3 types: Case, Power Disk and Dock - see image above at top right hand corner).

The mat itself is connected to an AC source as the power supply, and various mobile devices are either placed or connected to the appropriate types of receivers which are placed on the mat.  The mat first identifies the receiver and only then will the transmission of power begin, by magnetic induction.  When the device is charged, the transmission will stop.  You can charge multiple devices at the same time, all at the same rate.  The website says that Powermat products will be available in Fall 2009.

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The Powermat reminds Dick of the WildCharger Pad which has been around for a couple of years.  Although it uses a different technology for the transmission of power, it is a similar idea, in that you give your mobile device a WildCharge Skin, place it on the WildCharger Pad, to charge up the device.  Dick has seen a lot of new products in his time and is not too excited about the Powermat, which may take a few years to find its place.  In the meantime, Dick will stick to his Callpod Chargepod (Episode 368)  for charging multiple devices at the same time from one power source.

A Librarian Enjoys a Book

Tom Angelo from Brooklyn found a copy of Good Days and Mad in the libarary he works at.  He thinks that for someone who doesn't read books, Dick has written a very entertaining one.  He promises to buy a copy if he sees one in a book store.  Or, he can get a copy directly from Dick, details on Dick's page BuyMadStuff.

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