The FlameStower looks like a clever way to keep your iPhone charged while you’re camping in the wilderness. Just fill its reservoir with water, stick the other end into the flames of your campfire and plug your chosen gadget into the USB port. Relax with the charred meat and beverage of your choice, and—just three hours later—your iPhone will be fully charged.
The promo photos for the FlameStower shows it running off a portable gas stove, which seems like a great way to burn through a whole bottle of gas for one charge. Sticking the edge into an already-burning fire seems a much smarter bet. So how does it work?
The blurb tells us that the device is a Thermoelectric Generator, which exploits temperature differences to produce electricity. Wikipedia tells us that it is an inefficient but reliable technology, which is fine if you’re just sticking it into a fire for a few hours. The fire provides the heat, the water keeps the other side cold, and delicious electricity is the result. Bonus: The water might boil, in which case you should make coffee and refill with cold water.
Want one? It’ll cost you $80, and is available for pre-order only, with orders starting to ship in “late fall.” Yes, this is a little disappointing, but at least it’s not yet another Kickstarter.