Hurricane Katrina inspires Louisiana man to invent manual phone charger

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - People can need a recharge on their phones in a normal situation, but the mother of invention is sometimes a natural disaster.

"I always liked to take apart things to see how they work," said CrankCase inventor Mark Gabriel

Natural curiosity led Mark Gabriel from high school to the LSU engineering department, but it was a disaster during his first semester at school that turned him into an inventor.

"The idea came from my personal experience with Hurricane Katrina, and not having power when I needed it and not being able to connect with family and friends. That stuck with me for years," said Gabriel.

Ten years later, he and partner Erik Durr have invented a cell phone case that will insure that your battery never dies.

"You're creating power through the dynamo," explained Gabriel.

An early proto-type showed that the gears inside created the electricity to charge your phone. The trick was making it small enough to fit inside your phone's protective case.

"Our technology focused on making it slimmer. As a consequence, it made it more powerful. Normally this doesn't happen," said Gabriel.

His company, Ampware, is taking orders for the CrankCase through Indiegogo for delivery in October. Gabriel hopes this will give him the money he needs to begin mass production next year and bring an end to dead cell phone batteries.

"It's not going to just get you a few more hours of charge. It's going to get you a full lifetime because you can crank it anytime you need power," said Gabriel.

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