Elizabeth Montalbano

October 30, 2014

3 Min Read
Ampy: A Pocket-Sized Motion Charger for Your Mobile Devices

What if you could recharge your mobile device using the movements you make all day?That's the promise of Ampy, a new device by a Chicago-based startup of the same name that harvests energy from running, walking, leg shaking, or any other body movements, depending on where it's attached to your body.

"We started working on Ampy in January 2013 because we wanted to solve a problem we all experience -- a dead smartphone battery before the end of the day," Ampy co-founder and CEO Tejas Shastry told Design News. "As busy urbanites and fitness buffs, we explored the possibilities of capturing our own energy from daily activities to charge our smartphones -- and then engineered a solution to do just that."

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Ampy uses a proprietary inductor technology, which has magnetic components that couple to a person's motion, Shastry told us. The device also includes an internal lithium-ion battery capable of storing energy from up to a week's worth of physical activity. According to the company, 30 minutes of running with Ampy would supply three hours of charge to a smartphone or 24 hours of charge to a smartwatch. The device also comes with a mobile app that can be used as an energy and fitness tracker, showing minutes of battery life generated and calories burned.

Motion charging is hardly a novel concept at this point. However, kinetic chargers like Ampy are generally larger -- about the size of a paper towel roll. "We were able to scale down the inductors to a size that fit right in your pockets," Shashtry said. The reported dimensions are 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch x 0.75 inch, with a weight of 140g.

Ampy's Kickstarter campaign has already exceeded its $100,000 fundraising goal, earning more than $240,000 (as I'm writing this). The company plans to use the funds to mass-produce the device beyond handmade prototypes and develop the first thousand units, which are available for pre-order on Kickstarter for $85 or $105 with an accessory kit. The devices are anticipated to ship next year.

Shastry hopes one day Ampy will be able to integrate its energy-harvesting technology into smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearable devices.

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About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Montalbano

Elizabeth Montalbano has been a professional journalist covering the telecommunications, technology and business sectors since 1998. Prior to her work at Design News, she has previously written news, features and opinion articles for Phone+, CRN (now ChannelWeb), the IDG News Service, Informationweek and CNNMoney, among other publications. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she also has lived and worked in Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco and New York City. She currently resides in Lagos, Portugal. Montalbano has a bachelor's degree in English/Communications from De Sales University and a master's degree from Arizona State University in creative writing.

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