Maker Shougong "Handy" Geng, known for putting together gadgets of questionable real-world utility, has built a mobile phone case with a difference: it's capable of generating electricity in order to power the phone it holds.
"The mobile phone is always out of power from time to time, and my power bank is not very easy to carry around," Geng explains, referring to an earlier project to build a 27kAh battery bank portable only through the installation of wheels on the base. "So I made a mobile phone case that can generate power by itself. Now I don’t have to worry about my phone running out of power any more!"
In the short build video, brought to our attention by Adafruit, Geng — visibly frustrated with an out-of-power smartphone — produces the novel case using metal bar and sheet, creating a robust if not somewhat heavy housing. Into that, Geng fits a series of gears, a small motor which acts as the generator itself, a sprung armature, a status display, and a switchable USB power output.
The broad case, sized for a Vivo X Fold smartphone with flexible screen that opens like a book, then generates power each time the smartphone is opened or closed — which means, of course, to actually get any usable amount of power from it, Geng needs to rapidly and constantly open and close the case with likely consequences for the smartphone housed within.
The full video is now available on Geng's YouTube channel.