The PowerPot is an ingenious device that allows people to charge a mobile phone while they're cooking — it's targeted at campers.
My camping trip this weekend was canceled, so instead of testing the PowerPot over an open fire, I used the kitchen stove in my Brooklyn studio apartment.
Just after hearing the name, you probably have a good idea of what this device all about. It hides a thermoelectric generator inside a mostly normal-looking cooking pot. Fill the pot with water, place it over a heat source, and it begins to generate electricity for charging your USB devices.
Thermoelectric generators are able to generate electricity any time there's a big disparity in hot and cold temperatures – a pot of cool water placed over a hot flame, for example. The technology works like a charm, and charging my phone from the stove felt like a delightful magic trick.
The PowerPot is perfect for campers, backpackers, and emergency-preparedness types. It would have been terrific in New York during last year's Hurricane Sandy blackout, for instance, when gas stoves still worked even though the electricity was off. But it's also great for anyone who simply wants to ensure that he or she can have easy access to electricity no matter the circumstance.
There's a social enterprise element here as well. Because the PowerPot technology is perfect for developing nations, you can contribute money to help send PowerPots to people around the world who would benefit from having one.
The price of admission here is a bit steep, starting at $149 in the company store. You can also buy various add-ons to help expand its functionality. We were particularly big fans of the USB-powered light.