Shut Up and Take My Money: The Practical Meter For USB Charging
Have you ever wondered why it takes wildly different amounts of time to charge your smartphone through various USB devices? That’s exactly the question that the creators of the Practical Meter want to help you answer.
Launched through Kickstarter, the Practical Meter is plugged into your charging device, like a PC or laptop, and your smartphone is plugged into the Practical Meter. Similar to a Wi-Fi strength meter, the user will find a five-bar charging strength meter on the top of the Practical Meter. Each bar on the meter represents 1 watt of power with a max of 5 watts for smartphone charging.
Basically, the higher the wattage, the less time the smartphone will have to be plugged in. Using the iPhone as an example, five bars means the iPhone can go from a dead battery to fully charged in 90 minutes. Four bars is 2 hours, three bars is 4 hours, two bars is 6 hours and 1 bar is 8 hours. If you have multiple charging options, the Practical Meter will allow you to pick the fastest USB port for charging your smartphone.
Beyond the usefulness at home and work, this could also be ideal for anyone who’s spending time hiking or camping. For instance, a user would be able to immediately see how effective a solar charger is at filling up their smartphone battery.
In addition to the Practical Meter, the creators are selling a three-in-one charger cable that’s been specifically designed to maximize the charging rate for smartphones. That cable includes Micro USB, Mini USB and Apple dock connections.
The power consumption of the Practical Meter itself is less than 0.1 watts at maximum, thus the advantages to using the meter outweigh its need for power. Easily one of the least expensive Kickstarter projects, getting access to a three-in-one charger cable and the Practical Meter costs a grand total of $19. With three weeks to go, the creators have already raised over $70,000. According to the project details, they plan to deliver the Practical Meter to backers by September 2013.
Check out a video from the creators below: