The Smart Charger: Charging On-The-Go For iPhone, Android &The Ubuntu Edge

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The first gas-powered, truly portable smartphone charger. Charges up to 10 times on a single refill.
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Team Kobion
Technology
Istanbul
Turkey
2 Team Members

A butane-powered, amazingly compact device that charges your smartphone up to ten times with a single refill.

- Standard manufacturers warranty.

- Zero cost to backers if the campaign is unsuccessful.

- Perfect for emergency situations when there is no electricity available.

- Once refilled can keep the energy for years.

- Watch this demonstration video to see it in actionDEMO VIDEO

Yes, there are portable chargers. However, they rely on batteries as well. You have to charge them beforehand. Durable ones are bulky and expensive, not for everyday use. It would be fantastic to see a compact, truly portable one that could charge your device ten times.  

The Smart Charger    

That's why we designed the Smart Charger - simple to use, charged just in a minute, and outrageously durable. Not good enough? This unique design is precision machined from solid aluminum, complementing the design language of smartphones and tablets in the market.

Recharging is a breeze. Just use a universal lighter refill to fill the tank inside. It takes just a minute. The good news is you can find such a lighter refill in any convenience store or market.

                                     The Lighter Refill

Amazingly practical - There is a regular USB port that fits all of your USB-charged devices. 

Where can you use it?

The Smart Charger can be especially useful in places where electricity is not always available. Whether you’re walking around downtown on foot and your battery dies, on a camping trip for the weekend or even in an emergency situation, this portable charger can make a world of difference.

Where can you use it?

A simple yet effective mechanism - Thermocouples are used in many devices as a heat sensor, as well as more advanced devices to generate electricity. They are also found in battery-less radios in isolated areas. Wait for it... They are even used in NASA projects; for instance, the Curiosity Mars Rover, and space stations. 

The Technology

Almost 100% thermal efficiency - The specially-designed catalytic heater is at the heart of your Smart Charger. The catalytic heating unit guarantees that every drop of your precious butane energizes your device.

Safety is our primary concern - The device is safer than your regular lighter thanks to the insulation coatings. The ignition mechanism will only work when your smartphone or tablet is plugged into your Smart Charger; Thus, it can never run in your bag, or your pocket by accident.

Technical Specifications:

Dimensions - 120 x 60 x 20 mm

Weight -  Around 200 grams (empty)

Nominal Energy – 37Wh (~10 times a regular phone’s battery)

Charge Voltage – 5V

Charge Current – 1A

Tank Capacity - 0.06 Liter

Charging port – Standard A Type USB

Chassis - Aerospace Aluminum 

Type of Fuel – Butane

Blue, Pink, and Green

How we will do it

The team consists of one designer/ electrical engineer, one product analyst, and a public relations expert. The plan is simple. After the project is funded, the founder of the Team Kobion, Onur Cem Altun will go see our East Asian manufacturers, and supervise the production in order to ensure the quality is not compromised. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- How many refills can you get from a can of fuel?

A- A regular can of butane is 300ml. And the fuel tank inside the device is ~60ml. That means, you can refill The Smart Charger 5 times with a can of fuel.

Q- Once the tank is filled completely, how many times can I charge my phone until the tank is emptied? 
 
A- Once fully refilled, the device is capable of supplying 37.2 watt hours of energy.
 
The battery of an iPhone 5 is 5.45 watt hour, which means you can fully charge your iPhone 5 -7- times. On the other hand, a Nokia C5-03 has a 3.70 watt hour battery, which means it can be charged up to 10 times. Look at your phone's watt hour measurement to be sure.
 
Q- How do you know if the fuel tank is full or empty?
 
A- In the final production version of the product that you will be shipped out, there will be a line of glass next to the butane tank where you can see how much fuel is remaining.
 
Q- How does the ignition button work? Do you twist/turn it or push it?
 
A- In the production version of the product, the ignition button, which you push, will work to ignite the heater. This is called piezo ignition and the same mechanism is used in camping stoves, gas grills and some lighters. The valve this button controls will also stop sending fuel to the heater when the device is running.
 
So, you will push the same button to stop and start charging.
 
Q- Does it know when the device is fully charged, or does it keep on charging?
 
A- For the sake of simplicity and reliability, there is no mechanism to sense how much your mobile phone is charged.  You will be able to turn it off manually after your mobile phone is fully charged. 
 
The Smart Charger is intended to be a mobile, on-the-go device to have at your side and use when your normal charger or outlets are not available.

What is under the hood? 

In basic terms, a thermocouple, a cooling fan, a heating unit, and a butane tank… A thermocouple is a device that converts temperature difference to electricity. They are widely used in industrial applications as heat sensors. The specific name of the thermocouple that is used for generating electricity is the thermoelectric generator. There are semiconductor p–n junctions inside. The typical efficiency of such a device is 5%-8%. However there are devices that have an efficiency around 10%. 

The cooling fan is needed to keep the thermal gradient stable through the thermoelectric generator. The efficiency greatly increases when a cooling fan is added. It also supplies air to the combustion chamber which increases the efficiency of burning. 

The catalytic heater used in the device enables 95% thermal efficiency. There is no visible flame in the catalytic heaters. The advantages of such heaters are flameless heating, and full control over the temperature. 

The butane tank is a regular butane tank used in cigarette lighters. The only difference is the size. Also, there are additional insulation coatings for safety concerns. 

Who we are

We are members of Team Kobion who have been relentlessly working for months to make a dream come true. All of us have expertise related to our key roles in the team. Onur Cem Altun is an electrical engineer graduated from Koç University in İstanbul. Ferah İlhan is a graduate student in biomedical engineering in Bogazici University. Our public relations expert, Mitch Morrison graduated from George Washington University in D.C with a degree in International Relations. You will be able to meet us at the Exclusive Launch Party in İstanbul. 

The Key Team Members

Where We Are In The Development

We have a working prototype, but it costs a lot. To make it affordable for the consumer market, we have to produce a relatively large quantity. The only way to do this is to crowdsource the demand upfront, which is why we are here. We need your support to make our dream come true. The figure below illustrates how much we need, and how we will use the funds for the mass production.

Breakdown of Fund Budget 

Other Ways You Can Help

We know there are folks out there who just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:

You can use the Indiegogo share tools to spread the word. 

Here is the quick share link for you: igg.me/at/smartcharger

You can visit us at kobion.com 

Thank you for your valuable support!

Find This Campaign On
$4,306USD
raised by 79 people in 1 month
5% funded
0 time left
$80,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its $80,000USD funding goal by the deadline.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 26, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Forgot to add shipping?

    This is for the folks who forgot to add the shipping cost. Don't worry, we will match it up.

    8 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $20USD
    Discount Coupon

    If you'd like to support our project now but not pay the full price right away, you can receive a promotional code that will allow you to get your Smart Charger (in green, blue or, pink) for an additional $39 in December 2013. You can use this code on our website kobion.com

    4 out of 500 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $59USD
    Early Bird - The Smart Charger

    Special Thanks for being among the very first to back us! You'll get a Smart Charger in any color (green, blue, pink) from the first full production run, and we'll include you in our Hall of Fame. Add $5 for shipping.

    65 out of 200 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $69USD
    The Smart Charger

    You'll get a Smart Charger in any color (green, blue, pink) from the first full production run, and we'll include you in our Hall of Fame. Add $5 for shipping.

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $250USD
    Exclusive Party in İstanbul

    You'll recieve an invitation for you and a friend to come to our exclusive boat party in İstanbul in September, plus a signed Smart Charger. (The Smart Chargers will be delivered in Nov 2013, and travel expenses are not included.) Free shipping worldwide.

    0 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $5,000USD
    Distributor Pack

    You have the unique opportunity to build your business. You will get 110 Smart Chargers in retail boxes. Free shipping worldwide.

    0 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $10,000USD
    Mega Distributor Pack

    You have the unique opportunity to build your business. You will get 250 Smart Chargers in retail boxes, with a very special price. Free shipping worldwide.

    0 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2013
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