No, this isn’t a wind-up toy.
Well, OK, it is, actually – it’s a wind-up mobile phone, believed to be the first of its kind, and it’s scheduled to make an appearance sometime in the early part of next year.
The Ventus, as it is being called at the moment, is in the prototype stage of development.
Now you might wonder what anyone would want with a wind-up phone, apart from maybe a few geeks with a passion for gadgets. Think, perhaps, of developing nations such as India and throughout Africa.
Tony Davis, the director of TCL (the company behind the phone), these countries would be good markets, as there is mobile coverage but the power infrastructure is sometimes … lacking.
Apparently, after cranking the phone for one minute, you’ll get four times that in talk time. It’s powered by a specially developed ultra-thin dynamo.
It also has solar panels incorporated into it so if you leave it out on a sunny day, it can be left on standby for extended periods of time.
Yes, wind-up mobile phone chargers already are available, but this phone allows the battery to be charged without the need for a separate charger.
Davies told the BBC: “With our system, the generator accesses the battery directly, and that really increases the efficiency of the system.” Clever stuff!
TCL was founded in 1990 and are interested in producing “innovate trade/DIY products that help you work better, faster, and more efficiently.”
They already produce a number of wind-up products under the Trevor Baylis Brand, creator of the wind-up radio Trevor Baylis.
TCL supports “new British inventors in their pursuit to introduce their ingenious and highly useful inventions to the public market.”
Another company that is working on a wind-up mobile phone is the Swiss watchmaker Ulysee Nardin.
They have teamed up with SCI Innovations to develop a mobile phone that uses the kinetic energy of the Ulysee Nardin rotor.
We don’t know how near that is to becoming a commercial product, but when it does I wouldn’t mind betting some of you would pay a hefty sum for it.
If you have a few ideas up your sleeve and fancy yourself as a bit of an inventor, the Trevor Baylis Brands website has some tips and can offer expert advice on how to get your ideas off the ground.