Battery breakthrough: recharging via USB port

Okay, we're impressed. Somebody actually came up with a USB gadget that isn't just a gimmick. These USB batteries work just like regular ones, except when they run out of power, you can just pop off the lid and recharge them via USB port. Nice! Now as long as you stay near a PC, you won't need any bulky chargers anymore. The NiMH (nickel-metal-hydride) batteries will charge up in about 5 hours from any powered USB connector. Right now they're available in just AA flavor at $25 for a two-pack, but the manufacturer, USBCELL of the U.K., has plans for a whole line of the phat batts, including AAA (with either a mini or folding USB plug), 9-volt, and even models for cell phones. Now if we could add that new technology for making batteries last 100 times longer than today's models, we'd be all set.

USBCELL, via Engadget