Earlier this month Dahon released details on its Ios bikes with embedded electronics, powered by hub dynamo. The company has now revealed the BioLogic FreeCharge device will be available as a standalone item.
Any bike equipped with a hub dynamo (used to power lighting) will be able to benefit from the device, which charges iPhones, iPods, GPS units, or just about any small electronic device, through a USB port. The FreeCharge incorporates a battery that stores power generated by a dynamo hub while cycling.
Dahon vice president Joshua Hon said:
"There are millions of bicycles on the market with dynamo hubs that generate electricity while you ride. We consider it a shame that most of that electricity is wasted because LED lights are so efficient these days and you don't need lights during the day anyway. So we came up with a way to capture and store that energy for use when you need it. It's personal power on demand."
The BioLogic FreeCharge connects to all dynamo hubs on the market. Proprietary circuitry converts and regulates the intermittent power generated by the dynamo hub, for input into the FreeCharge's high capacity lithium polymer battery. The battery then outputs a stable current to safely charge electronic devices. The BioLogic FreeCharge attaches to a bicycle by means of a wrap-around silicon case. The weatherproof silicon case features sealed cable ports.
"A lot of us here at Dahon use iPhones and there are some pretty neat GPS and cycling computer applications available," said Hon.
"But the problem is battery life. 90 minutes into the ride and your phone is out of batteries. But now we're never out of power. So there were definitely selfish intentions when we began to develop this product."
For bike tourists a single FreeCharge could replace a tangle of phone, iPod, camera, voice recorder, and Nintendo chargers. The FreeCharge can be charged by wall adapter or by USB from any computer. The FreeCharge includes a retractable USB cable with five interchangeable tips for Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, LG and Mini USB devices. The FreeCharge will fully charge an Apple iPhone in under three hours.
The FreeCharge will be available worldwide in March 2010 at a suggested retail price of $99.
Dahon is also launching a bicycle mount for the Apple iPhone.