Point Source Power, the company responsible for the Voto, is looking to extend its product line with the Halo. Where the Voto is a fuel cell charger that works with an open fire, the Halo is a gas canister backpacking stove with built-in fuel cell charger and dual USB ports.
The Voto is aimed at both outdoor enthusiasts and those in the developing world, two groups that are likely to use fire for cooking, boiling water, etc. While the Voto covers many outdoor users, it doesn't cover those in areas with fire restrictions. Backpackers, boaters and other travelers entering these areas would have no use for a fire-powered charging system.
Stoves, on the other hand, tend to be permissible even where open fires are not. The Halo looks like a typical backpacking stove but it includes a fuel cell that produces 1 Amp of electricity by combining hydrogen in the flame with oxygen in the air. The device comes with a pot stand for cooking and can cook and charge at the same time, similar to the biomass-fueled BioLite stove.
The Halo is a compact, 12-oz (340-g) package that includes the wedge-shaped charging module and circular fuel cell component. The butane/propane canisters common in camping and backpacking work as fuel. It offers two USB ports for charging multiple devices at once.
Point Source Power's CEO and co-founder Craig Jacobson told us that the Halo charges at comparable speeds to other USB chargers and uses fuel at a rate comparable to other backpacking stoves. The device also offers a charge-only setting that fires up to about a third of full cooking power.
Point Source Power is trying to raise funds through Kickstarter to develop the device and is offering the Halo for pledges starting at US$79. If the funding goal is reached, the company hopes to have them shipping by October.
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