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March 2015 Retro Gaming Article


March 6, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Battery chargers have gone from inadequate to pornographic and still lack real-world stats

I use the charging stations in airports and at my local mall, but charging in the wild tethers you in a way that violates the mobile-ness of the devices you carry along. The idea of also toting some extra battery power seem ridiculous, but at times it would be handy.

cylindrical battery charger We frequently charge things in the car, but when my son and I are on the go, we don't want to be tied down to a charging station.

After picking up some games at GameStop we might jump into some head-to-head Street Fighter IV at the ice cream shop. And who doesn't love some co-play Streets of Rage 3D and Star Fox while waiting for a movie to start. We like gaming on the go on our 2DS handhelds and phones, so we often need power in strange places.

Those cylindrical charging tubes really appealed to me... visually. It seemed like a slick way to bring a bit more power when a device is running low and I'm not done playing. I love the USB port on the end. It just seemed like a smartly designed product. This is of course all supposition since I don't own one of these nifty looking chargers.

After doing a little reading on them, it seems they are woefully underpowered. Folks seem to be complaining that they will only deliver a quarter-charge to the average phone. What!?! How can a product like this come to market and not even be able to deliver a descent charge to a phone? There were also complaints of the devices simply not working at all.

PornHub's Wankband battery charger Maybe the mobile power solution has to rely on human-power. The oddly savvy folks at PornHub are staging to launch the Wankband - a self powered device that stores kinetic energy for later use in charging any of your devices. Sounds reasonable.

My Dad had a self-winding watch that would keep itself powered by the simple movements of your arm. PornHub's device is geared toward a more violent thrashing motion, but we're talking about power here.

Any of these portable power solutions might be just what I wanted, if there were any standards involved!!

I was on the brink of buying one of those cylindrical tube-chargers until I discovered how underpowered they are. This makes me wonder how much masturbation PornHub thinks is required to reinvigorate a depleted smart phone.

What we have here is a lack of standards! Who knows how "milliampere hours" relate to energy storage and charging? This is the way these devices are rated, but this doesn't really relate to things we know and can quantify... like how many milliampere hours are needed to charge a particular phone or handheld game console?

A milliampere hour (mAh) is 1000th of an ampere hour ( Ah ). These measures are used to describe the energy charge that a battery will hold and how long a device will run before the battery needs recharging.

Sure I could do some research and some math to see if I can figure out how to match one of these consumer chargers with one of my battery-powered devices. But is this really what manufacturers want their customers doing. The more research I do the less confidence I have in any of these products. I like their concepts, but there don't seem to be any standards that normal folks can relate to in terms of properly pairing a charging solution to their personal device.

These chargers are fairly new to the market - the Wankband has not yet been released - so manufacturers may put some more marketing muscle behind these products to ensure people can figure out which model meets their needs. Until then, it seems like a lot of tech-babble designed to "impress" consumers. Forget that! like standards and relations I can understand. I'm no rocket scientist, but I shouldn't have to be in order to buy a consumer battery charger.

I'm sure standards will emerge, but companies are so eager to get products to market, they don't allow time to bring their customers up to speed with measurements we all can relate to and use to make informed decisions. Part of my frustration is I really want one of those cylindrical chargers! And I'm interested to see how much energy the Wankband can produce :)

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