Nokia launches bike-powered handset

Nice idea, I bet I can convert that to my iPhone and other electronics on my bike. ie: Lights, GPS, Stereo, TV (Grin)

The charger and phone holder for the Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit attach to a bike’s front handlebars.

(Credit: Nokia)

Nokia unveiled on Thursday a bicycle-powered phone charger.

The Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit, which can be attached to any bicycle, powers up from the pedaling motion of the bike’s rider. A dynamo–the electricity generator–is powered by the front bicycle wheel as a rider pedals and transfers electricity to a charger attached to the handlebar, which a phone plugs into.

“To begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around six kilometers per hour (four miles per hour), and while charging times will vary depending on battery model, a 10-minute journey at 10 kilometers per hour (six miles per hour) produces around 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time. The faster you ride, the more battery life you generate,” Nokia said in a statement.

The charger can be used to power any Nokia phone with a 2mm power jack, according to Nokia.

The Nokia bicycle charger comes with a dynamo that attaches to a bike’s fork and generates electricity as a rider pedals.

(Credit: Nokia)

The kit comes with two small brackets, in addition to the charger and generator. One bracket attaches to the bicycle’s handlebars to secure the charger and a cell phone holder. The other secures the small electric generator to the bike’s fork.

The world’s largest maker of cell phones said in a statement that its new product will provide “free and environmentally friendly electricity for mobile phones” and will likely be welcomed in areas of the world where bicycles are a transportation staple.

Priced at about $18, the charging kit is set to be available from Nokia online and Nokia phone retailers by year’s end.

While its certainly newsworthy that Nokia is offering a bicycle charger, it follows others. In 2007, Motorola demonstrated a bike-powered charger at the Consumer Electronics Show. In September, Dahon unveiled the $99 Biologic FreeCharge for charging small electronic gadgets by connecting to any existing dynamo hub on a bike.

Nokia’s announcement came in conjunction with the release of the Nokia C2, a cell phone capable of holding and operating two SIM cards at once to allow for separate phone numbers to be used from one device simultaneously. The dual-SIM C2 allows the user to not only switch between SIM cards, but even swap one SIM card for another, while the phone is on and working.

Candace Lombardi, a freelance journalist based in the Boston area, focuses on the evolution of green and otherwise cutting-edge technologies, from robots to cars to scientific innovation. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET. E-mail Candace.

MATTI HUUHTANEN
Published: Jun 3, 2010

HELSINKI (AP) – Want to talk more? Keep pedaling, says Nokia.

The world’s largest mobile phone maker on Thursday launched four low-priced handsets and a recharger that can be connected to a bicycle’s dynamo which charges when the wheels turn.

The bicycle charger kit and handsets – some with a standby battery time of up to six weeks, FM radio and flashlights – are aimed at users with limited access to electricity.

The new devices will be available during the second half of the year, priced at between euro30 and euro45 ($36-$55).

The bike kit has a charger, dynamo and a holder to secure the phone to the bicycle. The dynamo – a small electrical generator – uses the movement of the wheels to charge the handset through a standard 2mm charging jack used in most Nokia handsets.

It cuts off at speeds lower than 3 mph (5 kph) and higher than 30 kph (50 kph).

The price of the kit in emerging markets starts at euro15 ($18), and likely will cost more in other markets, Nokia said.

The cheapest of the new handsets – the Nokia C series – is the C1-00, expected to retail for around euro30 ($36). It is also the firm’s first model with a 2-in-1 double SIM card solution.

“By simply holding down a key people are able to switch between SIM cards,” vice president Alex Lambeek said. “This enables them to take advantage of reduced call rates, flexibility when traveling from one country to another or helps with sharing a phone within a family and still use their own SIM card.”

The C1 has a standby battery time of up to six weeks and features a flashlight and radio, both aimed at regions where electricity is scarce.

The Nokia C2, with an expected price tag of euro45 ($55), has dual SIM standby capability that keeps both SIM cards active, meaning that calls and text messages can come to either number while the handset is on. One of the cards sit under the battery while the other SIM card is removable without turning off the phone.

The C2 also has the possibility of storing micro-SD cards with 32 gigabytes of memory for music, photos and other data.

Nokia has recently been faced by strong competition in the high-end smart phone market, particularly from RIM’s Blackberry, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, but has maintained its leading global position. In another strong move to grab new customers in emerging markets it launched three less-expensive smart phones in April, including its first model expected to sell for under euro100 ($125).

Nokia has been the top handset maker since 1998. Last year, it sold 432 million handsets.

It is based in Espoo, near Helsinki, and employs around 126,000 people worldwide.

via AP News: Nokia launches bike-powered handset.

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