Dahon, who made their bones marketing folding bicycles, have announced an upcoming gizmo that could be a boon to anyone whose own electronic gizmos die on long trips.
The BioLogic FreeCharge works on bikes with a built-in dyno (read: generator) hub, tapping into the circuit to route power to a standard USB port. This means that any USB-based device — phones, MP3 players, etc. — can benefit from the FreeCharge.
Far cleverer is what's inside the FreeCharge: a rechargable battery that gets the juice from the dyno hub first, so it stays charged even when no device is attached. Since it would take three hours of pedaling to fully charge the average iPhone, the internal battery now acts as a backup power source to run your device while the bike continues to charge both. (Obviously, you'd have to be a dolt to start a bike trip with a near-dead device, so the FreeCharge's main task would be topping off the battery en route.)
Dahon is anticipating a March 2010 release for the FreeCharge, and an MSRP of around US$100.
[Via Wired GadgetLab]