SHARGE Flow Mini Hands-On at CES 2024: A Tiny yet Mighty ‘Power Backpack’ for your Smartphone

Power banks have a reputation for being bulky. Nobody really likes carrying them in their pockets given how large and heavy they can be, which often means most power banks spend all their time inside backpacks and purses. The Flow Mini, from Sharge (formerly Shargeek) has a different story to tell. It’s extremely handy, with a compact design that fits into pockets and even around your belt loop (should you choose) and a 5000mAh battery that’s enough to charge your phone. It also boasts a nifty transparent outer design that makes it the kind of power bank you wouldn’t mind flaunting to people around you. Measuring just about as wide as your smartphone, the Flow Mini practically ‘piggybacks’ onto your smartphone’s form factor, blending right into its design in ways that most power banks don’t.

Designer: SHARGE

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Over the years, Sharge has pretty much nailed its core design DNA, focusing on functionality combined with a unique design that uses transparency to help create curiosity and a feeling of being able to see products for what they are. Sharge’s products aren’t for mere masses, they’re more aimed at people with a distinct penchant for design and power-use, as seen with their Shargeek 170, a whopping prism-shaped 170W charger with a transparent design and an LCD screen that lets you accurately measure the power output delivered to each port (along with things like battery percentage and other data-points). The Flow Mini, albeit too small to have its own display, comes with a transparent outer housing and a cylindrical base that’s reminiscent of pencil batteries or a roll of camera film (if you’re from that generation).

Designed to plug right into the base of your phone, it comes with an integrated port that lets the power bank itself attach to your device. This makes things a lot easier because you don’t need to hunt for a charging cable to connect your phone and power bank. However, the Flow Mini DOES have a cable that doubles as a lanyard or loop-grip when not actively in use.

The Sharge Flow Mini comes equipped with a tiny yet mighty 5000mAh battery that’s more than enough to take your dead smartphone from 0 to 100, or to juice your battery multiple times in the day for that extra boost.

The tiny design blends right into your phone’s overall form factor, allowing you to hold/ use your phone even with the Flow Mini attached. Perfect for people who prefer not carrying around a 10,000mAh brick along with them everywhere.

Given the fact that the world is still divided by USB-C and Lightning users (and will be for at least the next 4-5 years), the Flow Mini offers the option to alternate between USB-C and Lightning variants. The battery unit stays the same between both designs, with the only change being the primary port on the front. However, Sharge lets you detach the primary port and swap between USB-C or Lightning variants. Meanwhile, a lanyard/loop cable sits on the side, letting you charge another device simultaneously, or charge the Flow Mini itself by directly plugging it into a power outlet.

Th Flow Mini is Sharge’s smallest charger, but its size shouldn’t be taken for granted. While Sharge does make larger, powerful, and more feature-rich charging banks for the tech-nerd and power-user, the Flow Mini is perfect for on-the-go battery. In fact, the folks at Sharge call it your phone’s second battery, because plug it in place and it sits flush against your device, adding power to it without adding all that extra bulk and weight!

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Microsoft’s AI Powered Backpack Redefines Your Smart Companion On the Go

In a world where our trusty smartphones have evolved into pocket-sized powerhouses, it’s natural to wonder if our everyday backpacks could use a tech-savvy upgrade. Well, wonder no more, because Microsoft has just unveiled an ingenious wearable that promises to revolutionize the way we perceive and interact with our surroundings.

Designer: Microsoft

Imagine this: a smart backpack, not just any backpack, but one powered by the remarkable capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI). It’s not science fiction; it’s a reality that has recently received the green light from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Let’s delve into the exciting world of this innovative invention and see what all the buzz is about.

At its core, Microsoft’s smart backpack acts as your extra set of eyes. It’s equipped with the remarkable ability to identify objects in your immediate surroundings. Picture walking down a bustling street, and your backpack can provide you with real-time information about your environment – it’s like having your personal guide right there with you.

 

yanko design images to size – Microsoft_AI_backpack_03

Beyond object recognition, this intelligent companion can handle tasks for you. Need to set a reminder? Just ask your backpack. Want to add an event to your calendar? Your backpack is on it. It can even assist you in determining the price of an item at the grocery store. Think of it as your reliable sidekick, always ready to assist you on your adventures.

Thanks to its cloud connectivity, this smart backpack is a veritable treasure trove of information. It can fetch data from the internet in the blink of an eye, keeping you informed and up-to-date, no matter where you find yourself. Imagine having Google’s vast knowledge right at your disposal, all from the convenience of your backpack. The phrase “Are you stupid?” is on the verge of extinction! But of course, AI does not aid with common sense yet, right?!

Coming back, the magic doesn’t stop there. This backpack effortlessly syncs with your other tech gadgets, creating a harmonious tech ecosystem that simplifies your life. It’s like having all your devices working together seamlessly, sharing information and enhancing your daily experiences.

Beyond convenience, this backpack could be a game-changer for the visually impaired. With its built-in camera, microphone, speaker, network connection, processor, and storage space, it becomes an invaluable tool, offering crucial information and assistance in navigating the world.

While the potential applications of this smart backpack are vast, there’s a critical aspect that must not be overlooked: ergonomics. Designing the backpack to be ergonomic is key to making it a staple in our daily lives. Just think back to the early days of computing when computers were massive and cumbersome. Now we have lightweight laptops like the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 and MacBook Air. Similarly, ensuring that this smart backpack is easy to carry and lightweight would make it accessible to people of all ages and strengths, much like a smartphone.

Furthermore, this innovative backpack could be a lifeline for the elderly, helping them navigate the modern tech world without feeling left out. Its intuitive design and AI-powered features could bridge the gap between generations and empower individuals to stay connected and informed.

While the release date and availability of this futuristic backpack remain a mystery, there’s no denying that it represents a significant leap forward in wearable technology. In a world where technology continues to reshape our lives, this AI-powered backpack could be the next big thing, seamlessly integrating digital intelligence into our daily experiences. So, stay tuned for updates, because the future of backpacks might just be smarter than we ever imagined, and it could change the way we all interact with the world around us.