Telephony doesn’t get much greener than this…
Quirky Dutch designer Tjeerd Veenhoven, despairing how quickly even a fully-charged iPhone could drain its battery, had himself a brainstorm — or more appropriately, a wind storm — and dubbed it the iFan. Combining ecological friendliness and high-tech whimsey, the iFan is a soft rubber bumper case with a built-in wind-powered electrical generator (driven by a cooling fan salvaged from a desktop PC).
It actually works, after a fashion; Veenhoven admits that it currently takes six hours of breeze to accomplish what a wall-wart can do in a half-hour, but theorizes that a redesigned fan might improve the iFan’s efficiency. For those not in a breezy area — much less those willing to hold their iPhone/iFan combo out their car window to charge while driving — Veenhoven proposes a bicycle-handle mount to reduce your carbon footprint even further.
The unit is still very much a prototype, and may never venture further than Veenhoven’s workbench, but the possibilities are intriguing. As its charging efficiency and iPhone battery life improves, how about reversing the electrical flow: an iPhone-powered fan for those hot days? Better yet, how about a double-rotor iFan and some flight software, to turn your iPhone into a self-contained RC helicopter a la the AR Drone?
What next for the iFan? The answer, my friend, is “blowing in the wind…”
Not the first strange accessory we’ve seen, that’s for sure…at least it’s better than these.
(PS. Turns out this isn’t the first “iFan:” ePartyUnlimited once marketed an iPod case with a built-in fan, but it’s no longer for sale — and since it required three AA batteries to run, it wasn’t nearly as eco-friendly as Veenhoven’s case…)