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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Create Your Own Electricity With Your Feet, With This Simple Bike-Powered Charger

The Atom easily attaches to your back wheel and then uses your pedaling energy to charge a battery that you can use to power your devices.

Bicyclists who want to charge their mobile devices as they ride have options: you can choose between various dynamos (“hub,” “bottle,” “bottom bracket”), decide if you can make peace with the resulting weight and drag, and research the scattered manufacturers of devices that convert the resulting electricity into a usable form. In other words, there are options, but if your idea of DIY doesn’t involve electrical engineering, the options aren’t great.
This is the niche that Aaron Latzke saw on a trip to Belgium, on a work trip for his job as a mechanical engineer. He saw bikes everywhere with lights powered by bulky “bottle generators” (so-called because they look like bottles strapped to the tire). “That’s such an awesome technology,” says Latzke, “but it’s so dated.” For the last year and a half, Latzke has been working on updating this technology as CTO and co-founder of Siva Cycles. Today, that company is coming out of stealth mode and launching a Kickstarterto fund the manufacturing of the result: The Atom.

The basic idea is simple: Add the Atom to your back wheel, and while you ride it will deliver power both to any device that plugs into a USB and to a portable battery pack. The $105 price point and straight-out-of-the-box functionality is designed to appeal to bicyclists who want the technology without the hassle. “We want to go after the 95%,” says CEO and co-founder David Delcourt. “We don’t want to go after the 3% that understands the ins and outs of bicycle energy.”

Read on at --> FastCompany


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