About this project
What Can a Smart & Secure Fast-Charge Cable or Adapter Do?
Quite a few amazing things:
- Charge your smartphone (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and other Android phones, Windows phones, ...) 2-times as fast (most phones) and even 3-times as fast (some phones).
- Turn your computer's USB port into (nearly) full-speed charger for tablets: iPad, Android tablets, Windows tablets.
- Turn some slow-charging USB chargers into fast-charging ones, iPad-incompatible ones into iPad compatible, iPad-only chargers into universal chargers.
- It blocks data transfer, so bad guys won't be able to steal data from your phone/tablet or hack it if when is connected to a compromised computer or charger.
In addition to that, our fast-charge cable:
- Has a switch that you can toggle between secure fast-charge mode and data-sync mode (at normal charging speed) -- so you can still use it for data transfer when needed.
- Is a tangle-free extra tough cable with braided outer sleeve made of super durable and water resistant nylon fabric.
The Annoyances of USB Charging
We designed our Smart & Secure Fast-Charge Cable/Adapter to address a number of daily annoyances with USB charging:
- Most computers' USB ports can only charge smartphones slowly -- at 0.5 Amp max. Charge current, measured in Amp, indicates how fast it charges; e.g., 1.0 Amp means charging twice as fast as 0.5 Amp.
- Worse yet, most computers' USB ports can't charge iPad or other tablets because they require higher charge current (1.0 Amp or higher). Some can still be charged, but very slowly.
- Compatibility issues: USB chargers from different vendors often don't play nice with each other. A few examples: (1) the official iPad charger can't charge Samsung Galaxy tablets and some other tablets; (2) the official Samsung Galaxy tablet charger can't charge iPad; (3) some after-market chargers can charge one type of devices (iPad or Android tablet) at high speed (2 Amp or higher) but they charge the other type of devices at much reduced speed.
- Many after-market chargers don't charge your phone or iPad/tablet as fast as they claim: many may claim they can charge at 1 Amp for phones and 2 Amp for iPad and other tablets, but the actual charging speed may be just half of that. That include some the so-called Smart or Universal chargers that are supposed to be cable to charge both iPad and other tablets at 2 Amp or higher.
- Hacker attack! If you use a regular USB cable to connect your smartphones to a computer that has been compromised by a hacker, it is possible for the hacker to steal data off your phone; or worse, compromise your phone. It has been found that, it is even possible to hide a hacking device inside a normal-looking charger that is capable of stealing data from your phone or compromising it. Be careful when connecting your phone/tablet to a public computer or charger.
Introducing Smart & Secure Fast-Charge Cable and Adapter
Smart & Secure Fast-Charge Cable
There are 2 versions of Smart & Secure Fast-Charge Cable: one with Lightning plug for Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod with lightning port, one with MicroUSB plug for Android, Windows and other types of devices with MicroUSB charging port.
It can charge phones much faster:
Your computer's USB port can charge iPad at 2 Amp using our Fast-Charge cable:
In addition to the fast-charging capability, a "smart" chip is embedded into our cable (see pictures in Peek Inside) that can "intelligently" differentiate different devices (iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablets etc.) and apply different signals to "trick" a charger to supply the highest proper charging current to the device being charged. The following picture shows that an iPad incompatible charger can now charge iPad at 2 Amp:
This solves a lot of (in)compatibility issues and turns nearly any charger into a universal high-speed charger. For example, using our Fast-Charge Cable with MicroUSB plug, you can charge all Android and Windows tablets including Samsung Galaxy tablets with the official Apple iPad charger -- you can't do that for many devices using regular USB cables. Similarly, you can use the official Samsung Galaxy tablet charger and other after-market chargers to charge an iPad.
The cable has a built-in switch that let you toggle between secure fast-charge mode and data-sync normal-charge mode. We have designed a patent-pending circuit that allows in-flight switch of the 2 modes -- i.e., you can switch mode while the cable is connected and device is being charged without needing to plug/unplug the cable to change mode.
Smart & Secure Fast-Charge Adapter
Most people have many normal USB cables lying around already. So we also designed the Smart & Secure Fast-Charge Adapter to use with those cables. It provides all the amazing features of the cable: fast-charging, smart charging to turn most chargers into universal high-speed chargers, blocking data-sync to be secure. Except it doesn't have a switch -- to use your cable for normal data-sync function, just unplug the adapter. It is compatible with all standard MicroUSB cables and Lightning cables.
MFi Certification & Apple Compatibility
Our Fast-Charge Cable with Lightning plug will be MFi (Made-For-iPhone) certified -- that means it will use the official Apple Lightning connector and pass Apple's certification tests. We have consulted with an MFi certification testing lab and sent prototypes to them for testing. Based on their evaluation, there should be no problem with the certification application and tests. With official MFi certification, our Fast-Charge Cable will be guaranteed to be compatible with all Apple devices with Lightning port.
Our Fast-Charge Adapter has been tested and verified to be compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod using both Apple's official USB-Lightning cables and several after-market USB-Lightning cables. Compatibility with Apple devices is guaranteed for Apple's official USB-Lightning cables and other MFi-certified cables. Most non-MFi-certified cables shall work with our adapter as well -- as long as the cable itself is compatible with your device. Our adapter will NOT make a Apple-incompatible cable into compatible one. Please also be advised that many after-market cables are not capable of passing through high charge current (2 Amp or higher) -- thus charging will be limited by the cable's current limit even using our adapter.
Some pictures for the curious kind.
Our first stretch goal is set at $20,000; once that is reached, (1) a silicone case will be included with each adapter -- the case will make it easier to carry around the adapter while providing some level of protection; (2) a silicone cable tie will be included with each Fast Charge cable to help keep it tidy.
We have done all the following: research, circuit board design, prototype, testing & verification, mechanic design (connector casings), and IC chip selection (total of 3 small chips used for each cable/adapter).
We are seeking fund to make this a reality: tooling, volume purchasing of components, making circuit boards, and final production. Please pledge your support to help make it happen!
The Finer Points
While the we tested and verified that our Fast-Charge Cable/Adapter does everything claimed here, there are a few things that we want to clarify.
- Fast-charge relies on a device's built-in capability to be "fast charged". If a phone can accept charge current of 1 Amp, our cable/adapter will make it possible for it to charge at this "speed" on a computer's USB port while regular cable won't. However, if a phone's max charge current is 0.5 Amp, then our cable or adapter won't make it to accept higher current to charge faster. Such a device will be damaged if it is "force-fed" with a higher current -- our cable/adapter won't "force-feed". Most recent middle-range and high-end smartphones support charge current of 1 Amp or higher, but many lower-end ones and old ones only support charge current of 0.5 Amp. The same for tablet -- while in this case, the "good" ones support charge current of 2 Amp or higher, but many "cheap" ones may only support charge current of 1 Amp or lower. Many smaller tablets -- e.g., 7" ones, may only support max charge current of 1 Amp to 1.5 Amp.
- Most devices charge at different "speed" depending on battery capacity. E.g., a phone may be charged at 1 Amp or higher when its battery is almost empty; but when battery reaches higher capacity, the max charge current goes down -- e..g, it may only support 0.8 Amp at 70% full.
- Similarly, when used with some wall chargers, our cable/adapter make it possible to charge some devices faster than regular cable, the charger itself must have the capability to output the higher current necessary for faster charging. For example, the stock iPhone charger can only output 1 Amp max. Our cable/adapter won't do magic and make it output 2 Amp to charge iPad. That said, our cable/adapter does do the magic when, (1) a charger won't charge certain type of devices due to incompatibility -- e.g., an iPad charger won't charge a Samsung Galaxy Tab; (2) a charger doesn't charge all or certain types of devices due to incompatibility or implementation flaw but its circuitry is indeed capable of high current (e.g., 2 Amp). For the former case, our cable/adapter makes the compatibility issue go away; in the latter case, our cable/adapter will make it possible to take advantage of the charger's full capacity.
- Cable matters. While working on this project, we found that many cables on the market are bad -- they can't support high current (e.g., 2 Amp or higher) that's necessary to charge iPad and other tablets at "full" speed. When using our Fast-Charge adapter, be aware of the cable -- some may not support current high enough for fast charging.
Risks and challenges
As a responsible and accountable project creator, we only take projects to crowd-funding that we are confident we can deliver. Given the fairly advanced status of this project -- we have worked on this for the past 6 months, the risk of this failing is very minimal. We have overcome the major challenges already: some circuit board design challenge, MFi evaluation.
That said, there is one risk: even though we have done evaluation and believe we will get MFi certification from Apple for our Fast-Charge Cable, there is always a chance that Apple might reject it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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