By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Portable rechargers that extend the battery life of handheld and mobile devices are becoming as ubiquitous as the devices themselves.
Three vendors are shipping new products to the market this quarter.
Battery-Biz has extended the utility of its iPod accessory line with the Duracell PowerFM, an add-on device that combines the functionality of an FM radio transmitter with an extended rechargeable battery.
The PowerFM allows a user to listen to an iPod wirelessly from any FM radio. Users can select the transmission frequency manually from the full FM spectrum or navigate through five user-defined presets. The PowerFM provides an on-screen user interface.
The extended rechargeable battery powers the iPod and charges its internal battery, providing double the run time as the iPod by itself, according to Battery-Biz. The power status of the PowerFM battery is displayed on the iPod screen.
The package includes a protective silicone case that has openings for headphones and for the iPod dock connector, allowing the use of additional accessories without having to disconnect the iPod from the PowerFM.
The PowerFM will have a suggested retail price of $79.99 and will be offered in two models: one for the nano and one for video iPods. They will ship early next month.
Sakar International has launched two new portable charging products.
The Power Stick charges cellular phones, portable game consoles and MP3 players. It adds up to six hours of power for most digital items, according to the company. Sakar also has a version for iPod and Nintendo DS Lite.
Also from Sakar is the Rapid Charge. It works off a single AA battery and adds 20-30 minutes of additional talk time to most mobile phones. Rapid Charge includes connector tips for all major cellular phones including the Motorola V series, Razr, SLVR, Blackberry, Samsung A and T series, LG 6100, Nokia Flip and Nokia Standard models.
Compact Power Systems has released its line of iRecharge lithium-based batteries to the market this quarter.
The iRecharge for Laptops ($169) suggested retail is a small, lightweight external lithium-ion battery that provides up to four extra hours of usage time. It is compatible with leading laptop brands, charges with a laptop's AC adaptor and features the patented iTip technology.
The iRecharge for Sony PSP ($29.99) is an ergonomically designed external lithium ion battery. It provides up to eight additional hours of playing time and charges with the PSP charger. The unit also provides an integrated stand for movie watching and convenient charging, the company said.
The iRecharge for Portable DVD Players ($59.99) is an external lithium ion battery that provides up to three extra hours of running time, doubling the movie-playing time of most portable DVD players. The model has a switchable voltage design.
Finally, the iRecharge for Camcorders ($49.99) is a high-capacity lithium polymer external battery that provides up to three hours of extra recording time and is compatible with Sony, Canon, Panasonic, JVC, Hitachi and Samsung camcorders.
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