It's getting harder and harder to keep track of cords and power adapters for the plethora of battery-driven gadgets that control our lives in this day and age. iPods need one cord while cell phones and palm computer devices need others. Not only is this a potential cord nightmare, the sheer number of chargers haunting your very dreams, but it's also a situation that consumes a lot of electricity. Enter the HYmini , a solar and wind powered universal adapter for recharging all of your 5V gadgets.
What are 5V gadgets you ask? Well, according to the HYmini website, the product can charge many iPods or other MP3 players, cell phones, PDAs, and digital cameras. There are four options for drawing power into the Hymini and thus into your gadgets: 1) plug the Hymini into a standard wall outlet and basically use it as an adapter to charge your device, 2) plug your Hymini into a USB 2.0 port on your laptop or desktop computer to charge your device, 3) utilize the included portable solar panels to charge your attached device, and 4) utilize the built-in wind turbine to charge your attached device. The method here that jumps out at me the most is the wind turbine option. According to the product's description, it only requires a wind speed of 9mph to be able to generate "supplemental power" for your attached device. The only issue I see with this scheme is the potential for extra noise generated by a wind turbine cranking away at mach speed. If the device in question is a cell phone and I'm attempting to make an important call, the extra noise might not be appreciated.
The HYmini website gives data on average wind speed and percentage of time the sun is visible for large cities across the United States, in theory, to jazz its potential customers up about the product and let them know it is possible to utilize this rather out-there technology.
I will say this, I have been caught several times now on the road with a dead cell phone and no car charger in site. Carrying a HYmini along for the ride could charge all of my devices including an iPod while I'm traveling along the highway. One well-placed solar panel on the dashboard, or simply hold the wind turbine out the window for a few minutes should generate quite enough power.