Game changer: Hotspot energy harvesting battery

The tech media seldom get more excited than when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) comes to town, and that was certainly the case this year when Oh Gizmo helped lead the charge, no pun intended, with news of the RCA Airnergy WiFi Hotspot Power Harvester.

Simply put, it’s a free energy game changer. The battery, about the size of a shoe brush, harvests WiFi signals from the air and converts them to DC power. A USB cable attached to the top of the battery can them be plugged into your power-needy smart phone – BlackBerry users appear to be the target demo here.  According to the rep Oh Gizmo interviewed at CES, as your phone is charging, the tethered battery starts recharging itself with WiFi signals even as it’s draining. How well and how fast it works depends on how close you are to WiFi signals, says the rep.

While detractors including Slashdot are skeptical about the harvester’s effectiveness, gadget hounds may find one aspect of the product hard to resist: the projected price point. Oh Gizmo reports that “the USB charger will be available this summer for $40, and a [smaller, OEM-sized] battery with the WiFi harvesting technology will be available soon after.”

RCA isn’t the only manufacturer to attach itself to cool green products, of course. The iGo family of chargers is certainly worth a look, especially if you’d like the luxury of leaving some of your gadgets’ device chargers at home. And if you enjoy the news and buzz that comes from shows like CES, bear in mind that the Greener Gadgets Conference hits New York City’s McGraw-Hill Conference Center at the end of this month.

Image and video source: Oh Gizmo

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