Nokia launches phone-charging bicycle dynamo

Bottle dynamo aimed at developing world with unreliable electricity

Nokia has just released a bottle dynamo for bicycles aimed exclusively at charging mobile phones.

According to Nokia, the dynamo will kick in at about 4mph (stopping charging at 31mph) and a cyclist completing a 10 minute journey at 6mph will produce enough power for 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time. A phone holder will also be included in the kit.

Unveiled alongside the dynamo were four models of phone intended specifically for developing countries where mains electricity is unreliable or lacking. The phones apparently have a six week standby time.

Nokia say the dynamo is aimed at nations ‘where bicycles are ubiquitous’ and that will work with any phone using a 2mm charger jack. The fact that the company chose to launch the dynamo in Kenya certainly spells out that Nokia see developing countries as one of the main markets. However, they also made it clear that they hoped it would find widespread use in developed countries too.

"Bicycles are the most widespread means of transport in many markets around the world, so this is just one more benefit to be gained from an activity people are already doing," said Alex Lambeek, Nokia vice president.

The dynamo kit should be available in Nokia stores worldwide by the end of 2010. In Kenya, where the kit was first unveiled, it will cost about £12.50 (€15).

Bike dynamos to charge various gadgets are not a new concept, however.

The Pedal and Power bottle dynamo looks very similar to the Nokia product and, say the makers, it can be used with a wide variety of electronic gizmos that require a low voltage, low current charge (it produces a 6 volt, 3 watt charge).

Dahon took a slightly different approach when launching their Reecharge last year. They produced a removable lithium-ion battery that mounts easily on your bike and connects to the majority of hub dynamos. Dahon say that any item that recharges via a USB connection will charge from the Reecharge.   

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