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A Wind-up Cell Phone?

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, September 4, 2001

When your cell phone battery goes dead... .just wind it up. Bloomberg Boot Camp... .a report on today's technology. The Freeplay Energy Group... .best known for creating radios and flashlights that can run on human power... .you wind them up... .is about to tackle the cell phone industry. CEO Rory Stear says Freeplay is partnering with Motorola to develop a human powered cell phone charger... .

"It needs to, on about thirty seconds of winding, and that's really the amount of human energy we work around... thirty seconds of input... .it needs to have a very meaningful return. And our product will give you a six minute talk time and hours and hours of stand-by time."

And because the charger won't use a spring for the winding... .you can increase the talk time available...

"We've developed an alternator that we've applied for patents globally on, this you can put as much energy on as you need. We work on about thirty seconds, but on the cell phone product if you did it for two minutes, you'd get twenty four minutes of talk time and many, many hours of stand-by time. "

The price should be under sixty dollars and Stear says it should be available in November. In another partnership, Freeplay's radios and flashlights are being sold under the Coleman brand name. As for the future of human powered energy... .

"The amount of human energy generated every day in the average size New York gymnasium, would probably power the building that the gymnasium is in."

It's a subject Freeplay gets all wound up about. Bloomberg Boot Camp... I'm Fred Fishkin.