Andrii is the Head of Media at TNW, with over a decade of experience in covering the European tech ecosystem. Talk to him about new and exci Andrii is the Head of Media at TNW, with over a decade of experience in covering the European tech ecosystem. Talk to him about new and exciting developments in tech, especially those involving vastly underreported industry niches and geographies.
Increasing screen size, RAM, or storage capacity hasn’t been a problem for smartphone vendors in recent years, though we can’t say the same about battery life, which is often a problem for many users and hasn’t increased in line with our increasing reliance on these devices..
The problem of smartphone batteries dying at the most inappropriate moment has been tackled by numerous companies, from small to big, and there are quite a few solutions on the market. Most of them are power banks of different forms and sizes, which are either bulky or unable to fully charge your gadget.
That’s where Oivo comes in, a Slovenian startup offering an elegant solution for those who drain their iPhone’s battery too fast.
The $39 gadget that the startup is raising money on Kickstarter for is basically a power bank for iPhone with four standard AA batteries, but it’s not bulky at all and is intended to be used as a key fob.
The charger consists of two halves, between which the batteries can be installed. When being used, the gadget seems to fit the palm quite comfortably so that user can make calls or browse the Internet. In addition to that, Oivo works as a stand in both portrait and landscape orientation.
The main element of the gadget are 10 strong neodymium magnets that keep the two halves of the charger together. Oivo’s team claims the magnets are perfectly safe for both the iPhone and any credit cards that happen to be in its vicinity.
The team behind the project says Oivo charges an iPhone as fast as any AC charger. A set of normal Duracell alkaline batteries would bring your iPhone up to about 50 percent, while a lithium GP is enough to fully charge the smartphone.
With a built-in Lightning connector, Oivo works with iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c, and the team claims it will be compatible with the upcoming ‘iPhone 6’ (or whatever it ends up being called). We’ll reserve judgment on that until the new phone is actually released, though.
There’s no Android version on offer yet, though the team suggests those who would like to see it make a “symbolic pledge of $2,” adding that it might offer a Micro USB version of the charger as a stretch goal.
Oivo’s team, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, says that shipments will start in December 2014 so backers should be able to receive the charger before Christmas.
➤ Oivo [Kickstarter]
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