USB-C is the future of charging. We want the future to be now.
There are already a few power banks and chargers with USB-C out there. But they're heavy and hard to carry. They have too many different ports and overlapping charging protocols. We wanted to make something cleaner. A pure USB-C portable charger --- one that's actually portable, has the charging port you really need, and features a single charging protocol, USB Power Delivery (PD).
Introducing the pure, simple, and powerful...
Fast Charging. Only one charging protocol necessary - USB Power Delivery.
USB PD is a fast charging protocol. It is an open, universal charging standard that is intended to work with as many devices as possible. As an open standard, USB PD allows any manufacturer to implement it into their device. This is an advantage over proprietary charging standards that are closed off, not compatible with as many devices, and charge licensing fees.
We decided to go with USB PD only. If we implemented other protocols like Quick Charge in addition to USB PD, that would violate the USB specification by the USB-IF organization.
Thanks to USB PD, the PowerPack Ambi can deliver up to 18W output and input for faster charging and recharging. To enable fast charging of your device or fast recharging of the PowerPack, use only one USB-C port and leave the other port unplugged.
Two USB-C ports. No frills, no frustration.
Here's why we decided to go with USB-C and USB-C only.
USB-C is the replacement port for the legacy USB-A port, which most people are already familiar with. USB-C is smaller and thinner than USB-A, reversible, and bidirectional. With USB-C, you won't need to fumble around to figure out which direction to plug in your cable. The port and connector are designed for easy insertion and removal. With a USB-C to USB-C cable, both ends are the same so you can plug in any side you want, any way you want.
Our decision to go with USB-C only is based on our vision of a future where USB-C is the only port on all your mobile devices. This is a vision that is shared by major device manufacturers like Apple and Google. We want the PowerPack Ambi to be a portable charger for the future and not stuck in the past.
In addition, adding a USB-A port along with the two USB-C ports would force us to change the form factor of the PowerPack Ambi. We prefer to give our customers a lighter, thinner, and more portable product, because we feel that is what most customers want in a power bank. They want something that's easy to carry around. A portable charger should be portable.
Power the latest USB-C devices.
USB-C is already featured in many of the latest devices: Google Pixel's, MacBook's, Samsung Galaxy's, and even some Bluetooth headphones.
The PowerPack Ambi can charge up to two USB-C devices at a time at 5V with a combined power output of 20W. If you have two phones or a phone and a tablet, you can charge both at the same time.
Other USB-C devices include the Nintendo Switch and 2018 iPad Pro. You can also charge wireless headphones and smartwatches with USB-C ports. You can fast charge an iPhone (8 and newer models) with a USB-C to Lightning cable, because the newest iPhone's support USB PD.
Charges iPhone (8 and later) with USB-C to Lightning cable
Charges Lenovo tablet
Charges Sony wireless headphones
Charges Nintendo Switch
Pass-through charging. Recharge and charge at the same time.
With two USB-C ports, you can recharge the PowerPack Ambi and charge your device at the same time. Pass-through charging is great when you need to recharge your phone but the PowerPack Ambi is already low. Just plug the PowerPack Ambi into a wall charger and connect your phone to the PowerPack Ambi. This is also useful if you have a wall charger with only one port.
Charge without interruption. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
Pass-through charging allows you to power a security camera indefinitely. If the power goes out temporarily, the PowerPack will continue to power the camera without interruption.
The PowerPack Ambi can be used as a backup power source for compatible smart home devices and Wi-Fi routers. Connect the device as shown in the image and you will get a fail-safe system for countering power outages.
Pair it with a solar charger.
Solar panel chargers can be inconsistent and unreliable at times. Use the solar charger with the PowerPack Ambi, and you will have consistent and reliable power for your devices.
The solar charger will recharge the PowerPack Ambi while charging your device, so if the solar charger gets blocked or malfunctions, the PowerPack Ambi will kick in to continue charging your device. You will get a smoother charging experience.
Easy to hold in one hand.
A portable charger should be portable. The PowerPack Ambi is designed for plane flights, long hikes, and morning commutes. Light and slim enough for anytime, anywhere use. Take it with you to school, work, or vacation.
Spend less time recharging.
USB PD gives you the option of recharging at 18W. You can save up to 5 hours when using an 18W USB PD power adapter/wall plug instead of a standard 10W plug.
Give your phone extra lives.
Although portability and convenience are two main tenets of the PowerPack Ambi's design, there's still enough battery capacity to charge your phone fully multiple times. The capacity is perfect for everyday users who want some extra juice for their phones while they're on-the-go.
Engineered with compatibility in mind.
Here is an expanded list of all the devices the PowerPack Ambi is compatible with:
- Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL
- iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus (Note: For these iPhone models, an official or MFi-certified USB-C to Lightning cable needs to be purchased separately.)
- iPad Pro 2018, MacBook Air 2018, MacBook 2015 and later
- Nintendo Switch
- GoPro 5 and later
- Sony a7 III, Fujifilm X-T3, Canon EOS R Mirrorless
For additional compatibility information, please check out our spreadsheet titled "Suggested setups for owners of various devices."
Multi-protection safety system. Protects you and your devices from a wide range of dangers.
Summary of main features
How it works
Box contents (expected)
Who is ZMI?
ZMI USA was founded by Dr. Yunpeng Pan (Brian) in late 2016. Prior to starting the company, Brian worked as a professor teaching college mathematics, graduate-level operations research and data analytics courses at South Dakota State University. Brian holds MSc degrees in Computer Science and Operations Research and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He began his career in the private sector and has many years of experience working in the communication device, e-commerce, and medical equipment development industries.
ZMI USA is backed by a generous investment from Zimi Corporation. Zimi Corporation is the exclusive mobile power accessories supplier and a subsidiary of Xiaomi, Inc and specializes in the design and manufacturing of backup battery packs, power adapters, and charging cables for cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile/smart devices. ZMI USA's best-known product is the PowerPack 20K, which has been the Wirecutter's #1 choice among the Best USB Power Banks for Laptops since June 2018.
ZMI USA is an independent, forward-thinking company that seeks to bring pure, simple, and economical gadgets to the US market. We believe in saving money on unnecessary embellishments and frills and passing on those savings to our customers. We spend most of our time and money improving the quality and reliability of our products and helping our customers. We only focus on two things: our products and our customers.
The PowerPack Ambi is a completely new product conceived by our team that embodies our company's core principles and philosophy. The PowerPack Ambi is a high quality, reliable product that represents the future of mobile charging. We can't wait to bring it to life. But we will need your help. Here's what we've already accomplished and what we hope to achieve in the future.
Metal Casing Changes
PCBA Revisions Throughout EVT, DVT, and PVT Phases
Interior Blank Side Panel
Interior Port Side Panel
Our product is already past the prototype and development stage, and is currently in the testing and manufacturing process. We wanted to take on some risk and develop the product beforehand, so our pledgers don't have to wait forever to see the product actually launch. This also means there's less risk for our pledgers. However, there are still some things that we need to finalize before this product is fully ready for launch.
We believe we've created an amazing product that people will love, but manufacturing is expensive and risky. We need your help to get a better sense of the demand for this product. We don't want to have thousands of units lying around in our warehouse, and we don't want to have too few units and be out of stock all the time as well. In addition, this crowdfunding campaign will help us raise money to recoup some of the design and development costs we’ve already invested into the product.
Your pledge will give us the confidence to launch this product to the market.
Support us. We'll reward you.
We want to thank you for your pledge. Here are the tiers of rewards we offer.
Risks and challenges
As with all Kickstarter projects, there are some risks and challenges.
As you can see in our timeline, we have been working on this project for over a year. Getting to this point, we have already overcome many challenges. Most of these challenges have been design and engineering related. Putting two USB-C ports on a relatively slim and lightweight 10,000 mAh power bank has never been done before. But we were able to do it.
The engineering challenges are over. Now the hardest part comes. USB-C and Power Delivery are relatively new technologies that many in the public have never heard of before. We want this product to be a eye-opener to many on the benefits of USB-C and convince them that is the future of charging. Our Kickstarter project is a step towards a more informed and engaged USB-C customer base.
The remaining risks and challenges we face have already been discussed in part in the Why Kickstarter? section. We still have some risks when it comes to calculating the precise demand for this product and having a strong basis for volume production. We believe completing this Kickstarter project will help us overcome this last challenge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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