Power outages might not happen very often, but it pays to be prepared. It’s a good idea to have a charger that you can power yourself, either through solar panels or hand cranking.
Existing hand-powered chargers are almost universally ugly, even if they’re functional. But the Japanese design studio Nendo has created an effortlessly beautiful one called Denqul for the hardware company Sugita Ace, with a clever design that makes it easier to build up energy by hand.
The entire charger consists of a slender, metal tube into which you can plug a USB. But when it’s time to crank, the user can extend the tube to double its size and turn it into an L-shape. From there, it’s easy to charge with just one hand by swinging the charger around like a lasso. The lithium battery is located on the end of the tube, which increases the amount of centrifugal force generated when you swing it and charges the battery faster.
It also comes with a home charging dock that includes two other vessels in which you could store pens or glasses, effectively disguising the charger between them so it doesn’t look out of place on a desk. A prototype of the charger was on display in a special exhibition at the Japan-based store Club Esta earlier in November, but it is not yet for sale.