When you hear about wearable tech in the news chances are it’s another new smartwatch. However, a young entrepreneur has taken a new approach to wearable tech with the XOO belt: a combination of a classic belt and a portable USB charger.
[Image Source: XOO]
Designed by serial entrepreneur Piers Ridyard, the belt packs a 2,100 mAh battery, enough to fully charge an empty iPhone 6. Ridyard said that he had the idea years ago, but has been waiting for the flexible lithium polymer battery technology that only became available last June.
“This is for people who are sick of their mobile phones dying,” explained Ridyard, 27. “They don’t like battery cases and they don’t want to lug around a charger. The XOO belt solves the problem of suddenly running out of battery.”
The flexible layers of batteries are weaved into the leather belt which allows the zinc belt buckle, which houses a USB port and a cable, to be thin and not bulky like others on the market. Conveniently, you can charge your device whilst it’s in your pocket thanks to the reach of the cable.
[Image Source: XOO]
“Existing belt chargers either have huge belt buckles, which looks terrible, or stitch old-style lithium battery chargers into the belt, which is actually dangerous,” says Ridyard, mentioning the risk of cracking a solid lithium-ion battery in that it may explode. The flexible tech used in the XOO is said to be stable even when flexed.
It’s not his first attempt at launching a product on to the market either; he’s the guy behind the Nifty MiniDrive, the external hard drive that fits into the SD slot on an Apple Macbook increasing storage by up to 128 gigabytes. After raising $400,000 on Kickstarter, the hard drive can now be found in Apples stores in various countries.
And again he has turned to crowdsourcing with a campaign on Indiegogo for the XOO where he is seeking to raise $50,000 – and he’s already not far off. The early bird price of $99 has already been scooped up, with the lowest you can pledge to receive one now being $155. If all goes accordingly, the first shipment is set to be in July next year.