Michael Vaga, a 19-year-old inventor from Minsk, Belarus, has managed to crowdfund €71,333 for HandEnergy, a phone charger that taps energy from the human body to charge a cell phone.
A Kickstarter campaign aimed to raise €50,000 to move into commercial production of HandEnergy. Instead, the teenager’s invention raised €71,333 from 832 backers hoping to get their hands on one.
Although geographically the project’s location is defined as Dublin, Ireland, its roots are in Belarus as the creator of HandEnergy comes from Gomel.
Since the start of the campaign till its end on 23 December, the project attracted the attention of the media in different countries, including Greek, Turkish and Japanese news outlets. Video demonstration of the gadget’s operation was viewed over two million times on Facebook.
HandEnergy allows a user to charge their phone simply by rotating their hand, which activates the device’s gyroscope to produce energy that can then either be stored or used to immediately charge a mobile. It takes between 40 minutes and one hour to fully charge the batteries of the HandEnergy device.
“It is not to be used for daily charging”, Michael said in an interview in 2015. “But, for example, when you’re away from home and your phone battery is down, or you need to urgently make a call, you will not mind some motion. In addition, it is some kind of fitness!”
The device will cost between 69-119 euros and will be available from March 2017.