Assault and battery

We’ve all experienced the frustration of watching our battery percentage drop on long journeys. It’s an anxiety obsession as bad as disconnection fever so this week I’m rounding up a couple of battery stories (all gleaned from my iftt.com recipe sending me blog updates from the iphonedownloadblog and the android authority so all credit to them please).

Make tea, charge phone

I don’t think any gadget lover can deny that any walk in the wild would be useless without BioLite’s CampStove. Basically you collect a few twigs and leaves, spark up the stove and a thermoelectric generator converts heat to energy, powering a fan to give air to the flames that’s boiling your kettle and charge your phone or light your camp at the same time. The website is well worth checking out as their BioLite HomeStove is helping people who cook on open fires around the world by reducing the smoke emissions by up to 95%.

Eat Carat, keep phone charged

20120817-142126.jpgInteresting app for iPhone or Android is Carat – Collaborative Energy Debugging from Berkeley and Helsinki Universities. The app collects stats from your mobile device and shares it in that great big melting pot in the sky with all the other devices round the world that have the app on them (currently 319,959 of them).

It then tells which apps to ‘kill’, restart or adjust your use of. It splits apps into ones that need strong action, (kill, kill, kill), and ones that are energy hogs or bugs. Some apps seem to appear because you use them for long periods of time but others might just need to be stopped from running in the background or restarted to refresh them and stop them from stealing energy in the background. The really interesting thing here is that it’s a research project and this is a great idea to get 100,000’s of subjects easily and at the same time feed everyone’s vivacious appetite for battery data. You only need to have a look on the odd forum to see how bonkers people get over their battery icon.

Couple of things to note – due to large demand it can take over a week before you get your first report. It runs a low energy location feature so you’ll see your location arrow come on permanently. This, of course, is slightly counter intuitive as those location using apps are ones that normally use a lot of battery power. Carat however doesn’t seem to do that.

Credit to:

BioLite story on the iPhonedownload blog.

Carat battery story on Android Authority

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About assistivetechno

Bruce Darby - Assistive Technology Advisor at the University of Edinburgh
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