Two design-engineering students from Brunel University in London, Doug Stokes and Chris Tait, have designed The Nipper – the world’s smallest emergency charger. Unlike existing emergency phone chargers and power-banks, the gadget is so small that it can be carried on a keychain. “From the design point of view it had to be small enough to fit on a key ring and the Nipper is no bigger than a couple of Mentos,” says Stokes.
There is a catch, however. The Nipper is powered using two AA batteries, but Stokes says this shouldn’t hold the device back. “We realised that you can lay your hands on a packet of AA batteries 24/7 almost anywhere in the world,” Stokes says.
The two graduates launched the product this year, straight out of university, after entering a competition to find the best “everyday fix” gadgets. The charger is produced using a 3D printer and is made from two magnets and a micro USB. To charge your mobile, you place the AA batteries between the magnets and plug the USB into your phone.
The device is currently only available for Android phones and Kindles, but an iPhone version is currently in the planning stages. The charger is not designed to charge your phone to full power, but if you’re in a pinch, The Nipper will boost the modern smartphone by up to around 17 per cent.