What a time to be alive. Epiphany Labs, a new, innovative Pittsburgh-based company, has created the only gadget you will ever need: a coaster to charge you cell phone. Called the onE Puck, this device will help you keep your device juiced, whether you’re drinking your daily grande vanilla soy latte with an extra shot at a Starbucks, your Jamba Juice on the bus, or a beer while tailgating for a Steelers game, even without access to an electrical outlet. All it takes to charge your phone is the Puck and your USB charger and a hot or old drink
Now, how on Earth could this work? The onE Puck uses a small Stirling engine, which uses an outside heat source to control the system inside. Stirling engines are extremely quiet, involve no combustion and produce no exhaust. Hypothetically, a very simple Stirling engine could work off the heat of your hand, though very little power would be produced. With this exquisite invention, the temperature extremity of your hot or cold drink makes the engine run, turning the heat disparities into usable energy. All that fancy talk just means that you don’t have to worry about fighting with people at the library, a party or the food court for an outlet; all you have to do is drink your drink.
Naturally, there are downsides. Since this project is still in the works, the price has yet to come down (the makers just finished their Kickstarter campaign in April, where backers were asked to pledge $99 for a Puck.) However, since the Puck breaks ground for the Stirling engine, it can’t be long before similar inventions pop up. Another downside: The longer your drink sits out, the cooler it gets, and the slower your phone charges. Like a regular phone charger, the onE Puck can put out 5 watts of energy — but only when it’s performing at its best. Therefore with a hotter glass or mug the Puck will produce this energy output and match your regular charger. As the drink cools, your phone will charge slower than normal. The onE Puck is not meant to be your only charger, but with just your scalding Starbucks coffee you can make it through that conference call without worrying about your battery.
I know that I always worry about my phone battery throughout my day. I’m always having to choose between searching for an outlet in the library and draining my laptop’s battery in order to charge it. But I also drink a lot of tea. The Puck would help me quell my fear of a dead phone without costing me any extra time or effort. And that is the goal. Epiphany’s mission is to create simple and effective solutions to make your daily life a little easier. As stated on Epiphany’s Kickstarter page:
We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here. What we’re doing is taking existing, well known technologies and combining them in a way that nobody else has ever done in the past. When Robert Stirling, the inventor of this type of engine, was an old man, he predicted that ‘it remains for some skilled and ambitious mechanist in a future age to repeat it under favorable circumstances and with complete success.’ After 200 years of waiting, we think that time has come.
The onE Puck is compact, convenient, and a better use of energy than utilizing an outlet or alternate power source. Not only does this product save time and stress, it’s innovative technology helps produce cleaner and green energy so you are helping save the world. Using the Puck, how could you feel guilty about splurging on that venti pumpkin spice latte now?
Do you think this product is worth the price and the hype? Leave a comment below!