Everyone's familiar with the problem of a battery dying on an important gadget when out and about, and it's fair to say that solutions in this field are pretty well catered for.
That is, unless, the industry is crying out for a wearable charger that is strapped around a wrist, which is exactly what's on offer with the Powerstrap. It offers a similar degree of versatility and performance to alternatives in this field from companies such as Solio and Powertraveller and comes with 10 adapters that support the iPod/iPhone, Nintendo DS series, PSP, Nokia (both standard and mini), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry, LG and mini USB. There's also a male USB connector for charging via a computer - it takes around five hours for a full recharge.
The Powerstrap sports a rubberised design that's flexible enough and surprisingly comfortable, though only for relatively short periods of time due to its weight and bulk. The six Lithium Ion batteries built into the strap offer 1500mAH of power and appear to be nicely waterproofed, which would be an important benefit if it weren't for the fact that the main mini-USB connection, required for the attachments, is open and therefore subject to dust, damp and lint.
You can view current charge by pressing a control button that lights up a series of four LEDs and powering a device is as simple as connecting the appropriate attachment and plugging it in. Unfortunately the range of adapters supplied are pretty generic and there's no guarantee that a particular model of mobile phone will be compatible. There's also no resource to purchase additional attachments at present either, so it's a bit of a lottery as to whether a personal collection of handhelds will be fully supported.
The company is hesitant about quoting accurate usage times for a dead handheld following a full boost and suggests ball-park figures of up to three hours talk-time and eight hours of MP3 playback. This will vary quite wildly depending on the make and model of device in question, but during our tests we got quite close to this after chatting for two and a half hours on a Nokia N85 and what was effectively a full charge of a Nintendo DS.
We've done a pretty good job of ignoring the rather significantly sized elephant in the room so far, but it certainly deserves a mention. Would anyone be genuinely willing to wear what would be best described as a chunky rubber wristband for a day on the off-chance a device needs charging? We'd suggest not, and despite the fact that it performs pretty well, we'd be very surprised if this particular product takes off.
The Powerstrap is available now for £38.99 from Amazon.co.uk.
Author: Paul Lester
Geoengineering on the sea floor near glaciers would form a new ice shelf to prevent melting
Alterations in capillary blood flow can be caused by body position change
Curiosity rover is in 'normal mode' but not transmitting scientific data back to base
NatWest outage comes a day after Barclays' IT systems shut out customers and staff