If we all chuck out our old smartphones when we get new ones, that creates a lot of waste. And think of all the batteries that still work perfectly well. Couldn't they be put to better use?
Yes they could, and Better RE aims to do just that. It takes old smartphone batteries and makes them into portable power packs for your current smartphone, tablet or even laptop. Instead of wasting all that power by chucking the batteries on a landfill, it puts them to good use.
It works with any make or model of smartphone battery, and you can swap out the batteries when they do finally die. In other words, one pack will last a lifetime, as long as you have a steady stream of smartphones. The firm reckons most batteries still have 80 per cent capacity once we've reached the end of our two-year contracts. Which means each should last at least another two years.
You can adjust the capacity using the expansion packs, so it'll charge any device with a USB port.
It's simple to use too – just clip in the battery, turn the knob to fasten it in place and close the case. And that's it.
LEDs tell you much juice is left in your battery, so you'll never be left without charge.
It's won a bunch of awards, including the Red Dot Design Concept Award, the Samsung Tomorrow Solution and Spark Concept Design Award. And it's just passed its funding goal on Kickstarter. Shipping starts in November.