Fuel-cell 'handbag' powers gadgets on the go

One day, we'll all be carrying around hydrogen fuel cells for powering our portable gadgets. At least that's the vision of Voller, a British energy company, which created this Automatic Battery Charger (ABC) to supply power to things like iPods and cell phones. The good: it has a USB port as well as both regular and lighter-style power sockets that can supply either North American or European voltages, and it stores enough juice to keep your iPod playing for a week. The bad: the thing weighs 20 pounds and is the size of a bulky handbag. Unless I was going on safari, I can't believe I'd ever want to lug around such a massive thing to recharge my stuff, but the idea of using clean-burning hydrogen for powering portables is pretty cool. And given the inevitable miniaturization of any technology, I can envision a future where the ABC has shrunk to the size of the gadgets it's meant to power. The key, of course, will be making hydrogen canisters readily available for refueling, and Voller has a deal with gas supplier Calor to investigate doing just that. Way to think ahead, kids.

Reg Hardware, via Engadget