Back in July of 2012 I reported on a Kickstarter project that aimed to put a charger cable into your wallet. That project went way over its funding goal, and the resulting product -- ChargeCard (US$25) -- is now shipping, at least for the iPhone 4/4S and older devices that use the 30-pin Dock connector.
When Noah Dentzel and Adam Miller teamed up to design the ChargeCard, they had one goal in mind: creating a charger cable that could be stowed in any wallet. They wanted to make the ChargeCard about the same dimensions as a credit card, and they've succeeded. It's a little bit thicker than a regular credit card, but put a credit card on top of the ChargeCard and it disappears.
The design features a stiff card that includes the 30-pin connector on one end. In the middle of that card is a flexible piece ending in an open USB connector. Plug the USB end into an available port on your Mac, PC, HDTV or USB outlet, plug the 30-pin connector into the iPhone, and your phone is charging (and syncing via USB, if you still do it the old-fashioned way).
When you're finished getting some power for your iPhone, you disconnect both ends of the ChargeCard, snap the flexible part into the stiff card, and pop it back into your wallet. Now you can get a charge anywhere you can find a USB port, without having to drag a cable with you everywhere you go.
The ChargeCard guys are also selling a micro-USB version that's perfect for charging your Android phone or possibly even a Mophie Juice Pack, although it's currently backordered and expected to resume shipping in mid-March. There's also an iPhone 5 version in the works that will provide charging through the Lightning port; it's expected in May.
The ChargeCard definitely works as advertised. It slips into a wallet slot, and it charges your iPhone 4/4S when plugged into a USB power source. I like that the designers put a small "adapter" insignia on one side of the ChargeCard so I know which side of the card should be up when plugging into the 30-pin port.
It's not a long "cable," only about 4.5 inches long when fully extended, but that's enough to keep your iPhone close by when you're plugged into a laptop USB port. ChargeCard is also designed to hold the weight of your iPhone when it's plugged in, so you can let it dangle freely.
ChargeCard is a brilliant piece of work, ensuring that you'll always have a charge cable at your fingertips when you need one. Sure, you'll still need to find a USB port to plug one end into, but with a growing number of planes, trains and automobiles equipped with USB power ports, you may not have to look too far.
Only 0.1 inch thick (2.54 mm) and the same size as a credit card
Marked for proper insertion into the 30-pin Dock connector
iPhone 5 version is on the way
Durability of the device is uncertain
Who is it for?
Anyone who would like an unobtrusive iPhone charging cable that is always available