Ever find yourself with a drink in one hand and a phone, with a quickly diminishing battery life, in the other and no phone charger in site? Quite a pickle, eh? Well, luckily for you, Epiphany Labs has developed a hockey puck sized drink coaster that utilizes heat transfer to charge your phone without the need of a power outlet. All you need to do is place your hot or cold drink on either the correct side of the onE Puck and let your phone start wetting its batteries whistle.
Epiphany Labs, the engineering and business group behind the onE Puck, is a subset of their sister company Epiphany Solar Water Systems. The team strives to make products that can have a positive impact on the world through novel uses of technology. The company’s initial project consisted of a water purification system capable of producing safe-to-drink water from practically any water source - and it’s powered by solar energy. Epiphany’s onE Puck project was recently posted to Kickstarter in search of additional funding to get their potentially far-reaching technology out in the market by next year.
The onE Puck utilizes Sterling Engine technology, originally introduced to the world by Robert Sterling back in 1816. Thanks to the advancement of material science and the arrival of cutting-edge electronics, Epiphany was able to use the age-old technology in a miniaturized and modern application. The puck makes use of the temperature disparity between its two flat sides two-convert heat energy from a drink to stored electricity. The gadget has two sides: a red side for placing hot drinks, and a blue side for your cold beverages. Even so, the technology doesn’t discriminate against other forms of heat sources; as long as the source is hot or cold enough to create a temperature difference, it will generate electricity to charge a phone.
Epiphany’s onE Puck is compatible with all Android phones, iPhones, iPods, and any other USB device that draws a current less than 1000mA. It is also designed to work in less than ideal situations in case your drink is starting to cool off: instead of generating the 5W that most phones need for fast charging, it will store the energy it can and send packets of current to the phone for prolonged charging.
Epiphany Labs hopes that the technology will eventually develop into more sizeable Sterling Engine applications capable of powering entire homes. So if you’re sold on the technology, head over to their Kickstarter and contribute. Then reward yourself with a drink as you patiently wait for your new $99 coaster. Cheers to high-tech.