It's rare to see a female-led tech object startup company, and this one caught my eye. Canadian company Aurea, led by mechanical engineer Cat Adalay and designer Rachel Carr, is to wind what BioLite is to fire and sun. Aurea invented the Shine Turbine, a portable wind turbine that can self-charge an internal battery.
"The Shine Turbine easily powers handheld electronics such as phones, tablets, lights, cameras, etc. It's extremely fast at generating and storing electricity in a range of weather conditions and collapses into about the size of a 1,000 ml water bottle," the company writes.
"We're offering wind power that fits in your backpack," says Adalay, who founded Aurea. "Wind is the second-largest producer of clean energy in the world, yet most people don't have direct access to it. As a team of outdoor enthusiasts with backgrounds in science and engineering, we set out to create a wind power product that gives users the freedom to produce their own clean energy day or night, rain, cloud, or shine."
Once set up on its tripod, the 3-pound, 40-watt device automatically rotates towards the wind and starts charging its 5V, 12,000 mAh battery. (Alternatively it can charge your device directly via USB.)
The company says that in peak conditions, the Shine Turbine can generate enough juice to charge a smartphone in just 20 minutes. Here's a more detailed breakdown:
"8 mph is a gentle breeze: Enough for the wind to be felt on your face, and rustle leaves and twigs."
"28 mph is a strong breeze: Enough for the wind to sway large branches, and umbrellas would be difficult to use."
The Shine Turbine was successfully crowdfunded last year, with over $400,000 in pledges. Here's the launch video, which shows you the device in action: