As we demand more and more of our smartphones, the up time between charges suffers. Case in point – the iPhone. Chargers come in all shapes and sizes but few offer to power up the batteries using air, or more precisely – wind. Dutch designer Tjeerd Veenhoven has crafted just such a charger where his favored Apple device slides into the soft rubber outer skin and fan blades capture energy from the wind, which tops up the battery.

We've seen the idea of wind-powered charging floated before in devices like the HYmini portable charger and another concept piece, the Gotwind portable charger. Veenhoven's iFan lends itself to comparison with the K2 from Kinesis, albeit minus the solar panel, but is said to take some six hours to charge up an iPhone. That's not bad going for a modified computer fan and a custom-made case.

The designer thinks that with a bit more modification, the iFan could be made more efficient at harnessing power from the wind. He has just recently been tinkering with a bicycle mount design for the device which should allow users to top up their smartphones while out and about.

It's perhaps not the most convenient or efficient way to charge a smartphone, but very handy for those who like nothing better than camping out in the middle of nowhere or trekking up the side of a mountain.

View gallery - 3 images