Nokia unveiled on Thursday a bicycle-powered phone charger.
The Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit, which can be attached to any bicycle, powers up from the pedaling motion of the bike’s rider. A dynamo–the electricity generator–is powered by the front bicycle wheel as a rider pedals and transfers electricity to a charger attached to the handlebar, which a phone plugs into.
“To begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around six kilometers per hour (four miles per hour), and while charging times will vary depending on battery model, a 10-minute journey at 10 kilometers per hour (six miles per hour) produces around 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time. The faster you ride, the more battery life you generate,” Nokia said in a statement.
The charger can be used to power any Nokia phone with a 2mm power jack, according to Nokia.
The kit comes with two small brackets, in addition to the charger and generator. One bracket attaches to the bicycle’s handlebars to secure the charger and a cell phone holder. The other secures the small electric generator to the bike’s fork.
The world’s largest maker of cell phones said in a statement that its new product will provide “free and environmentally friendly electricity for mobile phones” and will likely be welcomed in areas of the world where bicycles are a transportation staple.
Priced at about $18, the charging kit is set to be available from Nokia online and Nokia phone retailers by year’s end.
While its certainly newsworthy that Nokia is offering a bicycle charger, it follows others. In 2007, Motorola demonstrated a bike-powered charger at the Consumer Electronics Show. In September, Dahon unveiled the $99 Biologic FreeCharge for charging small electronic gadgets by connecting to any existing dynamo hub on a bike.
Nokia’s announcement came in conjunction with the release of the Nokia C2, a cell phone capable of holding and operating two SIM cards at once to allow for separate phone numbers to be used from one device simultaneously. The dual-SIM C2 allows the user to not only switch between SIM cards, but even swap one SIM card for another, while the phone is on and working.