Technology’s incredible pace of development has meant that the smartphones in our pockets have the compute power of a laptop from only a few years back.
The fact that a tiny slim battery can keep that pocket powerhouse running for a whole day could be cause for celebration, but, in reality, it can be a bit of a pain.
On a typical working day, I'm never far from a power source. I can top up the battery in my car, or at my desk - but at the weekend, when I’m out in the middle of no where, or traipsing round the city, that’s when the battery anxiety can hit. For many, the battery life of a smartphone can be intolerably short.
Powerbanks are one solution. I’ve reviewed a few (white one / green one) in my time. An external battery that can charge your phone. They’re great, providing you remember to keep them charged too and with you at all times.
I like to keep an eye on the technology sections of IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to see what the new start-up companies have invented and this week I came across the HDkey, which seems a novel solution to the smartphone’s Achilles heel.
The HDkey is a cute, lightweight keyring. Designed to be stylish, the clue to its gadget leanings are the two micro-usb ports, one at each end. You see, the idea is that rather than lugging around a battery, you can connect your phone to a friend or colleague’s one and it will donate some of its power over to you.
This does rather assume that your friend wants to share their charge, but the HDKey has another trick up its sleeve which you can perhaps use to persuade them. Once connected, the HDkey not only links up the power, but it forms a high-speed data connection, which means you can copy files very quickly between devices. More and more smartphones have 16, 32 or even 64GB of data storage capability (even more again if you can add a memory card) - so if you have some big files you’d like to share - you’d best be patient if you are using bluetooth or WIFI as these are slow and battery hungry. Bet you’re friend is a bit happier to share now!
The inventor, Waferlabs, has also come up with a few other handy functions to keep the HDKey useful, even if you have managed to keep your phone charged up. It incorporates an NFC chip, which can be used as a means to share your contact details or run macros on your phone by simply touching it with the HDKey. For example, touch a colleague’s phone to transfer your digital business card, or your own to quickly switch between profiles and silence the phone on your way into a meeting.
The company is based in Bangalore and hopes to release the product onto the Indian market during Feb 2015. As a Westerner, its exciting to see what our friends in India are innovating around with their technology economy developing at breakneck speed, we will see more and more interesting start-ups and the positive impacts will be felt around the world.