Tools that can be powered by turning a hand crank are particularly convenient for emergency situations, allowing you to charge the battery with just a little elbow grease. At long last, someone finally saw fit to bring that same convenience to smartphones with CrankCase, a phone case with an integrated hand crank power generator.
Made by Ampware, the case comes with a hand crank in the back that you turn whenever you want to add a little trickle of energy to your phone’s battery. No more hunting down a charging port when you want to supplement the single bar of remaining power on your phone – just a few cranks (well, maybe a lot) and you’ll be good to go.
Granted, putting your phone in a CrankCase doesn’t just make it bulky, it gives an erstwhile sleek device an unwieldy shape, too, since the crank can neither be removed nor folded in. As such, your phone isn’t likely to fit inside a pants pocket. On a positive note, the crank can serve as an instant kickstand of sorts, so you can easily set your phone up on a tabletop without any extra accessory.
A minute of vigorous cranking can produce enough power to keep a phone on standby for the next 40 minutes (no word on talk time), so if you’re willing to put in the effort, you should be able to put a decent charge back to the handset throughout the course of a day. It also comes with a USB port, where you can plug in a charging cable, so you can charge external devices without having to remove your phone.
For now, the CrankCase is only available for iPhone 5 and newer, with cases for other phones still in development. An Indiegogo campaign is running to fund it, with pledges to reserve one starting at $49.