Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Charger for Smartphones, Gadgets, Showcased at CES

The portable, brick-sized device will be sold at Brookstone for about $199 later this year.

The Upp charger, a $199 hydrogen fuel-cell charger for gadgets, was showcased at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
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Talk about power to the people.

A pocket-sized hydrogen fuel-cell device for charging smartphones and other gadgets is slated to go on sale in the U.S. later this year, the U.K.-based company Intelligent Energy announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

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The device, called the Upp charger, isn't exactly a battery. Instead, like the fuel cells used in cars and other vehicles, it blends air and hydrogen to produce energy. The only waste it gives off is water vapor.

"Upp represents a new category of device, able to power USB-compatible portable electronic devices, such as smartphones, feature phones, eReaders, tablets, portable gaming consoles, as well as digital cameras," Intelligent Energy said in a statement.

It's dubbed the Upp, "a personal energy device."

The charger is just under 5 inches long and weighs about 1.5 pounds with a cartridge inserted. Outfitted with a USB port, it can deliver up to five full charges for most smartphones, according to Intelligent Energy. Once it runs out of juice, users simply get more cartridges, which can be ordered via an app. The app also will display locations where the cartridges can be exchanged in person.

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Upp is expected to cost about $199, and the company has partnered with shopping-mall electronics staple Brookstone to help sell the charger.

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