Luggage and Bags Personal Transportation

Commute-Case scooter inches closer to Jetsons’ suitcase car

The Premise. Briefcases serve business people by acting as luggage for all of those necessary work-related items. Sometimes, however, they can become hard to carry, especially during those long commutes to and from work. Perhaps the briefcase should carry you instead of the other way around

The Product. The Commute-Case is so much more than a briefcase. It also acts as a battery-powered personal transportation device and trolley. When folded up, the case looks like any typical bag, but folds out into the two above modes. Currently, the beefed up case comes in blue, black, beige, pink, green, purple, red and gray. When laid flat on the ground, the Commute-Case is 18” long by 13” wide and 4” tall. While in ride mode, the product can go as far as 25 miles at up to 12mph.

The Pitch. Commute-Case’s relatively dry campaign video fails to match up to how cool this product is. Another video in the campaign shows how the product folds out, but does so with an animation instead of showing someone doing it, making it unclear how easy or difficult it is for the Commute-Case to switch between different modes. This product has a lofty goal of $150,000 in 30 days on Indiegogo.

The Perks. Commute-Case offers several reward tiers, but only one with the case itself. Lower reward tiers feature extra cargo bags, warning lights and t-shirts. The last and highest level of $999 gets backers the case along with an engraving option that has an estimated delivery date of December 2014.

The Potential. In the briefcase/battery-operated scooter/trolley market, the Commute-Case may be, well, the only product there is. Its interesting mishmash of uses makes this case worthy of a George Jetson type. In addition, the price seems pretty fair based on the versatility of this product. The only questions that remain are how heavy is the case and how awkward is it to ride while straddling the briefcase? Even so, the Commute-Case is a new and interesting way for commuters to tote around their stuff.

Apparel Chargers/Batteries

Buckle Charger helps your smartphone’s charge go to waist

Buckle ChargerWe’ve all had that awful moment when our phone dies and we’re stuck without a way to charge it. With Buckle Charger, the answer lies just above your crotch. This portable charger lives right on a belt buckle and can charge any Android phone, iPhone or Bluetooth headset. It’s subtlety, convenience and portability make this product extremely appealing, much like the Carbon Watch. One Buckle Charger costs buckled backers $49 at an early price or $59 regularly with choice of leather color and three connectors. This product needs to raise $100,000 with its hilarious 40-day Indiegogo campaign.

Chargers/Batteries Smartwatches/Bands

Carbon stores solar energy on your wrist, makes a fashion statement

The Premise. Having a cell phone or tablet run out of battery is pretty much the modern-day indication that it’s time to get back home ASAP. Many people feel naked without their devices, so why not wear something that can keep them running without tethering users to their homes?

The Product.  The team at EnergyBionics has a solution – the Carbon Precision Solar Charger. This small device is worn like and even resembles a modern, designer watch. Instead of a clock face, the Carbon houses a solar panel that can store energy equivalent to roughly 3 hours of additional phone life. By pressing a button and unscrewing a cap, the Carbon can connect to most major mobile computing devices and keep them going for a while longer. If Carbon needs to be charged in a flash (and not one of sunlight), it can connect via USB to any traditionally powered device to charge up without the assistance of the sun.

The Pitch. Like the product itself, EnergyBionics puts forth a simple, no-frills presentation video that explains the Carbon and how to use it, including a demo with an iPhone 4s. The other campaign materials show off the optional crush proof case, currently available cable adapters, and go over the technical details. At this point the Carbon is compatible with most phones and tablets, personal music players, and even the PlayStation Vita. EnergyBionics needs $48,000 to get three major certifications, manufacture the small, initial run, and create the molds for the internal parts.

The Perks.  A minimum pledge of $95 is required to get a hold of the Carbon Precision Solar Charger with a black silicone strap, available in August 2014. Getting one with all the bells and whistles (leather strap and black crush proof case) is possible with a $130 pledge.

The Potential. Portable chargers, and indeed solar chargers for mobile devices are already plentiful on the market. Some DIY-ers have even made similar devices to the Carbon, but what makes this particular item so marketable is the sleek design and the sturdy components. The Carbon is perhaps even fashionable, which means a lot for a device that someone has to wear, regardless of how well it functions. Obviously, it would be even greater if the designers could figure out some way to get an actual watch face overlay on there. Nonetheless, gadget stores and even cell phone mall kiosks will want to upsell this kind of item to people in the process of upgrading their phones.

Automotive Chargers/Batteries

ReVolt3000 breathes new life into dead car batteries

The Premise. The average lifespan of a car battery is under three years. Most people deal with a battery that won’t hold a charge at some point and for many, the solution is to simply go out and buy a new battery, then throw the old one away.

The Product. The ReVolt 3000 gives consumers another choice. This device allows consumers or businesses to recharge dead or dying batteries and give them at least triple their original life span. Working with multiple battery types (NiCad, NiMH, and Gel-cell, aside from the standard fare), the ReVolt3000 reduces the amount of built up lead sulfate, eliminates short circuits, and gets batteries working like new again. Even some batteries that have been laying around for years in disrepair are able to become marginally useful. Users will only need to give each battery in their home no more than 8 hours of use with the ReVolt3000 every year to stay in top shape.

The Pitch. Inventor Tom Hoops outlines what the ReVolt3000 is, and what its impact can be. He starts by explaining the economic angle of saving a family money in the long-term instead of buying new batteries, but then takes the more philanthropic route of outlining just what kind of waste a discarded battery creates,  and how using the ReVolt3000 as an alternative is a smart decision for the planet. There are plenty of pictures of prototype kits to help explain the hard science behind the device. The campaign is looking to raise just $16,000 to begin production and distribution.

The Perks. Backers can start recharging their batters at the $250 tier, promising to arrive by July.  A 12-month warranty is also included. For $30 more, the limited second batch of ReVolt3000s are being sent out to arrive in June, while the highest tier at $300 gives backers a complete, tested pre-production model sent out by April.

The Potential. Most people think of a battery with no charge that needs a jump-start as a dead battery, but the ReVolt3000 can truly take all manner of non-functioning batteries and bring them back to life, at a method that is accessible to the general public in terms of ease of use and price point. Based on Tom’s own math presented in the video, the ReVolt3000 may not be the best solution for an individual with a single vehicle, but at the very least it is certainly a step towards eco-friendliness.

Chargers/Batteries Lighting

H2Only Battery recharges with liquid, pours on the light

The Premise. Batteries can die in the most inconvenient of times. During a power outage, car breakdown, or accident are the worst times to discover that your flashlight has run out of juice.

The Product. The H2Only Battery is a rechargeable battery that literally runs on juice, water or any other liquid. Currently, the H2Only Battery is being sold either as a flashlight or standard light. When it runs out, one simply needs to pour water or any other liquid over it and it will recharge again. Both the flashlight and light look like little more than regular LED flashlights or lights.with the exception of a ventilated exterior. If more power is needed, simply clip another battery onto the existing one. If less power is needed, take the extra battery away.

The Pitch. The H2Only Battery’s Indiegogo campaign features a refreshingly high-end video that shows the flashlight and light in action in various situations. The remainder of the campaign talks about when and where H2Only Battery would be helpful, the durability of the battery and which other products are will soon be manufactured with the H2Only Battery. The creators hope to raise $87,500 in order to fund the H2Only Battery. More information can be found on their Web site.

 The Perks. For only $29, the early bird gets one H2Only Battery flashlight. The standard price for both the flashlight and light costs backers $69. From there, reward tiers go all the way up to $5,000 with a heavy emphasis on donations that will fund philanthropic projects in Africa. Current availability is set at June 2014.

The Potential. The H2Only Battery is a truly cool concept that demonstrates how simple innovation can produce sustainable products. Unfortunately, H2Only Battery isn’t the first liquid rechargeable battery to the watering hole. The NoPoPo Water Battery looks like a AA battery, but can be recharged with water and several other liquids, but the H2Only team notes that its approach is patented and that the other product peters out after only two or three recharges.

The H2Only Battery’s main claim to fame is that it is the only open type rechargeable battery out there. This means that it doesn’t need to be disassembled in order to recharge with water and that it can take advantage of oxygen as a catalyst. The H2Only Battery’s creators have big dreams for their product, including powering every house in the world with just water. Still, the H2Only Battery creators will have to start by coming out with some more versatile products than lights in order to compete with other water-fueled battery systems, especially if they plan on taking over the world.