Picture this. You’re on an important business trip to a foreign city and your phone is about to give up on you right when you’re expecting that important call. What do you do? Why, you reach for your portable charger, of course, because the days when you would otherwise panic in the absence of an electrical outlet are long gone. A great deal of progress has been made in this particular field, and the outlet-free Jaq fuel cell charger announced by MyFC during the last CES is certainly a step in the right direction. It’s quite small, stylish and very easy to use.
Image source: Aruliden.com
The Jaq what…?
The MyFCJaq is a fuel cell charger, which means that it allows you to charge your phone without the use of an electric outlet by converting chemical energy into electricity. It mainly involves two parts. The first is a rubberized sleeve roughly the size of a smartphone, featuring a Micro-USB cable socket by means of which it can be connected to your phone. The second and most important is a credit card-shaped “power card” or, in other words, a cartridge containing salt and water. When this cartridge is inserted into the sleeve and locked in place, the chemical reactions take place and you can juice up your phone simply by connecting it to the USB port. No outlet needed.
How the MyFCJaq works
Basically, the MyFCJaq uses salt water and oxygen to harness electricity from a chemical reaction. As the two reactants combine in the enclosed space, the saltwater hydrogen atoms pass to the fuel cell and are stripped of their electrons at the anode. These electrons are what provides the current to power up your phone. The entire reaction only results in a completely harmless by-product, water. This means that the Jaq does not only allow you to bring your phone to life in style, but it also takes care of the environment for you.
The power cards are only available for one use, after which they become unable to produce the necessary chemical reactions. One cartridge produces about 2,400mAh before it becomes unusable, which means it can charge up a phone, an iPhone and even larger devices, like tablets.
Advantages and worth
The Jaq is not yet available for purchase, but credible sources suggest that the pouch will set you back about $99, while each cartridge would only cost $2. The producing company is also considering the implementation of a subscription service, whereby you would receive a given number of power cards each month for an advantageous price – say, $1 per cartridge. Multipacks will also be available for the same purpose. Of course, this isn’t as cheap as just plugging your phone in an outlet, but it costs just as much as the AA batteries you’d need for a portable charger and less than its Upp fuel cell charger counterpart.
In addition, the Jaq is a beautiful thing to look at, with its sleek curves and glossy, bright colors. It is so small that it can easily slip into a pocket and you don’t have to remember to charge it in advance because it generates its own power. Finally, the Jaq cartridges are easily recyclable, combining a significant effort for the environment with a pleasant appearance and ease of use.