In a deal announced this week [May 2012], American high-end retailer Brookstone will become the first seller of a portable fuel cell made by MIT spin-off company Lilliputian Systems Inc (LSI). Described as a “plug-less charger,” it will allow users to recharge their electronic devices’ batteries wherever they are – as long as they’ve stocked up on butane.
A CNET report states that the device is about the size of a thick smartphone, and that it uniquely features a solid oxide fuel cell membrane deposited onto a silicon wafer. It generates power using recyclable butane cartridges, which are around the size of a cigarette lighter. According to LSI, one of those cartridges should provide “several weeks of ‘always available’ Personal Power” – this is reportedly five to ten times longer than the run times offered by similarly-sized batteries. CNET adds that the fuel cell should be able to recharge an iPhone 4 a total of 10 to 14 times on one cartridge.
More details at Gizmag.
I initially thought it might be rechargeable but I do wonder now if it is a throw-away device. Anyone have more details?