I bought this USB charging unit because I have a lousy sense of direction. I get lost in buildings and in cities, even ones I’m familiar with. My iPhone’s GPS map is a godsend. I use it when I’m driving, walking, and taking public transportation.
When I was in Tokyo in June, I brought along a small Android phone installed with a local data SIM card. I used the phone as a wireless hotspot for my iPhone, and appreciated having access to the online map to guide me from my hotel to the subway station, and to attractions like the Tsukiji fish market and Kabuki-Cho. It was also nice to call home using Skype, and to post Instagram photos. The only problem was that the batteries on the Android phone and iPhone drained after a few hours, forcing me to ask people, chikatetsu wa doko desu ka? in badly-accented Japanese, to find the nearest subway station.
On my next overseas trip a couple of months later, I brought along a 6000 mAh Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo. It’s a beefy battery pack that has two USB charging ports. I kept it in my daypack and my family and I used it to charge our phones while we were walking around London and Paris. It was like having a portable wall outlet, because it never came close to running out of juice, despite nearly constant use. It’s bulky — about as wide and tall as an iPhone 4 and nearly three times as thick (see photo below). I wouldn’t carry it in my pants pocket, but it isn’t a problem in a jacket pocket or bag.
If you want all-day smartphone Internet connectivity, the Mophie Powerstation Duo is what you need.
6000 mAh Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo $100
My guest on the Cool Tools Show week is Robyn Miller. Robyn co-founded Cyan Worlds in the late 1980s, where he designed and directed the landmark video games Myst and its sequel Riven. In 2010, he co-founded Zoo Break Gun Club LLC, with producer/filmmaker Mischa Jakupcak. ZBGC has produced several films and has projects in […]
Over at Cool Tools, we interviewed Danny Haeg, director of Creative Collisions at the Tech Museum in San Jose, California. He moved here from Minnesota to jump into the simmering maker-melting-pot that is Silicon Valley. Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page Show […]
There is still enough time to buy cool tools as gifts and have them arrive before Christmas. Here’s Cool Tools’ complete list of gift ideas for 2016.
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]