Nils Ferber’s Wind Power

The designer has harnessed the wind for a simple, daily task: charging his phone.

Until smartphones come with an eternal battery, technologists will always be inventing new, more efficient ways to keep them on. The Micro Wind Turbine, a lightweight, wind-powered charger designed by 30-year-old Nils Ferber is the latest, most exciting solution. As a student at Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, in Switzerland, he found that power for his mobile devices was not easy to conserve on treks through the Alps. As the name suggests, his invention uses wind turbines to charge devices via a USB port on its shaft. A wind speed of 11 miles per hour generates a constant delivery of 5 watts, which will replenish an iPhone’s life as fast as if it were plugged into an electrical outlet. Ferber’s innovation no doubt makes Alpine hiking less dangerous, but for salty urbanites depleting their bars swiping on Tinder and photographing plates of food on Instagram, nonstop cellular power is still a dream.

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