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Portables

Video Getting Charged Up Over Chargers at CES (Video) 33

First we look at Skiva Technology and their Octofire 8-port USB charger that pulled in nearly five times the requested amount from a Kickstarter campaign. (The 'pulled in X times the requested Kickstarter amount' is becoming a common product boast, isn't it?) Then, for MacBook owners who are tired of having their chargers or charger cords break, we take a brief look at the Juiceboxx Charger Case. These two power-oriented products and WakaWaka, which we posted about on January 9, are just a tiny, random sample of the many items in this category that were on display at CES 2015. Timothy was the only Slashdot person working CES, so it's shocking that he managed to cover as many (hopefully interesting) products as he did, considering that even the biggest IT journo mills don't come close to total coverage of the overwhelming muddle CES has become in recent years. (Alternate Video Link)

NOTE: Transcript only covers the first 6:40 of this video

Tim: Vishal, what are you holding right now, what is this?

Vishaldeep Garg: Right now I’m holding a Octofire charger, this is a product which we launched last year on Kickstarter, it was pretty successful, we raised as much as five times the money which our goal was somewhere around $20,000 and we raised $100K. So this is a very unique design, you can charge as many as eight devices, and it’s a star based design, you don’t need to worry about shorter cables or larger cables, it can be really nice looking, very light, designed you can put it on anywhere on your coffee table or your meeting rooms, and

Tim: Show us the whole thing. Let’s see the underside. Here we go, okay. Talk about the hardware that’s inside this?

Vishaldeep Garg: So basically it has an intelligent detection IC, what it does is that as soon as you connect the device it detects that okay, it’s a iPad, it’s iPhone or it’s a Samsung device. Based on that the devices draw the actual current which they need to charge at the fastest speed. So you have all the production inside built-in, we don’t need to worry about I have to put in a specific port, some of the products which are available in the market, they are specific to Samsung or Apple, but it’s not like that, all ports are universal, and it solves your problems like power outlets, now you don’t need to worry about that, you just need one power outlet and you just plug it in and you are ready to go.

Tim: What you are holding is a version that was successfully Kickstarted?

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah, yeah it was pretty successful on Kickstarter.

Tim: This is available right now on Amazon.

Vishaldeep Garg: This is available right now on Amazon, it’s pretty good, people are liking it, we really like their feedback, they gave the feedback they wanted some smaller versions as well, we came up with 4 port version, we launched that one also in Kickstarter and that also was successful, and now we are coming up with a new version that is also again based on the feedback of the Kickstarter backers.

Tim: You’re referring to the one that’s right here next to you, is that right?

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah. Yeah.

Tim: Can you talk about this one?

Vishaldeep Garg: So basically this is a hub as well as a charger, it can charge your devices at fastest speed of 2.4 amps each port, so again it’s going to detect because of the intelligent detection IC and then the best part is that it is a USB 3.0 hub. It can transfer your data at an awesome speed of 5 Gbps. And then it’s not one of the products where when you are charging it’s not going to act as a hub or if it’s connected to your PC if it’s acting as a hub, then it’s not going to charge, it’s not like that, it can do both the functions at a time – at the same time. It can actually

Tim: And to be clear, this one here is power only.

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah. And this is the only hub in the market which can act as a dedicated charger. So if it is not connected to a host, it acts as a dedicated charger. At 2.4 amp each port, almost like 20 amps.

Tim: Now you’ve been with the company with Skivasince near the beginning?

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah. Almost near the beginning. Yeah.

Tim: Yeah, can you talk about what was it like to raise money via crowdsourcing?

Vishaldeep Garg: So basically we were a small team of hardware engineers and software people and some of them were mechanical people, so we came up with some unique designs, we actually read some market problems what are the issues people are facing. So we designed this product and then we were into Kickstarter, and then we were getting a lot of – we were getting a lot of feedback from the Kickstarter backers that you can do these kinds of improvements, although they were very happy with this product they asked us to include some more features like– this product actually comes with the power adapters, some people were pretty okay with this kind of power adapter, some people wanted this power adapter to be a part of the product itself, so we came with the 4 port charger which can – where you don’t need to carry two things, that’s very travel friendly, but this is more good for the schools, restaurants and all, and then this is really good from a perspective if you want to transfer the data as well, so this was again the feedback from the Kickstarter people.

Tim: You’ve got some pieces over here that are a little bit different, can you talk about these?

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah, so this is again one of the unique products, this is a very powerful big sound Bluetooth speaker. And it has an inbuilt 3000mAh battery it has 15 watt of powerful drivers, and then we have got another product, this is currently live on Kickstarter, it’s a lightning keychain, it’s again MFi certified, people like it really well, and then this I already talked about it, this is the 4 port charger, so you don’t need to carry any extra stuff, you just need a AC cable and you are ready to go. And then now we are working on more bigger versions this is a 16 port charger, we have further bigger versions of it, we have 24 port, we have 32 port, we have the capability to go higher and higher.

Tim: Do you see more for educational or other institutions?

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah, yeah. Educational institutions, restaurants and yeah, meeting rooms there they need something like this which can give you really high output without even thinking about I need to connect in this device or – this port or this port, so you can connect to any port universally no issues.

Tim: Okay. What is the startup scene like in Irving, Texas?

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah, that is going really good, I think Irving has provided us good support to grow as a company and we are really liking it, the kind of support which we got from Kickstarter backers was also huge, and we always wanted to launch our products from Kickstarter, we want give them the first opportunity to buy our products at really decent prices. We are all for the innovative products, yeah, so that’s all about it.

Tim: And you mentioned that your first generation is already shipping, can you say again when your next generation will be available?

Vishaldeep Garg: So these two products are already – no it’s going to be very soon because these products are already available on Amazon, and the hub version is going to be somewhere around end of this month on Kickstarter. So basically on Amazon you can expect somewhere around April, end of March or April. We’ll be all ready to go on Amazon, yeah.

Tim: Anything else, if people want to learn more where should they look?

Vishaldeep Garg: Yeah, they can actually contact us anytime, we are doing all these products on SKIVA, on our website as well, not only on Amazon, but we are getting a lot of feedback from people to do this stuff or that stuff, we are taking all of it into consideration, we are trying to be – come up with as cool products as possible.

Tim: Is it skiva.com?

Vishaldeep Garg: skivatech.com, yeah.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Getting Charged Up Over Chargers at CES (Video)

Comments Filter:
  • W10, so what? for how long is what interests me.
  • What advantages does that 8-port charger have over competing chargers? The thing is incredibly enormous when compared to, say, a 6-port anker charger... and it doesn't really offer any more power per port than the Anker charger either.

    5x the size for an extra 2 USB ports seems absurd.

    • +1 for the Anker. Seems a much better alternative. I'm getting one.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by munwin99 ( 667576 )
        Got mine the other day. Works like a charm charging a Galaxy Tab 8, 2x Galaxy Nexus' and an iPod touch all at once. And it's small and nicely designed. No complaints here :-)
    • Most likely, the difference is in the electronics.

      The best Anker also only does 60W max, 2A per port, the octo charger pushes 96W, 2.4A per port.

      From the Octofire information on their site:

      Intelligent overheat, overcharging and over-current protection built-in.

      Only charger that can charge eight tablets simultaneously at 2.4A per ports with Smart detection of devices for optimal charging.

      International Compatibility - Octofire takes 100-240VAC 47-63Hz power input. That makes it work in all countries. Octofire Turbo comes with a 1 year Replacement Warranty.

      • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

        The difference is minor. You're talking about 10W per port on the Anker product, and 12W per port on the Octofire. This does not explain the enormous size of the Octofire product.

        You could practically take half a dozen Anker charges, consuming less space, and get 360W of charging... not that there'd be much value in that.

        • Proper cooling for more power being delivered. Every watt passing through the device produces heat, so the more wattage, the more surface area to dissipate heat. You asked what the difference it, I answered. Your charger can't charge tablets at full rate (2.4 amps), it is limited (2.0 amps). This means it can be smaller as it is dissipating less heat (60 Watt power supply vs 96 W power supply). It may work for you, but they are hardly the same product, converting electricity from 120-240 VAC to 5 VDC a

  • I don't see what the big deal is. I plug my phone into whatever computer I'm sitting at. I'm at a computer for most of my waking hours.
    • This [computerworld.com.au] seems like more of a big deal to me.
    • I'm not, and even if I was the current state of computer charging makes it incredibly slow. I go out of my way to look for wall chargers to plug my phone into. The only exception being overnight where I use a simple wireless charger, because screw messing with USB plugs in the dark.

  • What about charging a single USB device from 8 adapters? If it would charge 8x faster maybe my Kindle would charge completely overnight...

    • Re:Reverse Octofire (Score:4, Informative)

      by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Monday January 26, 2015 @09:19PM (#48909903)

      Sorry, device charging doesn't work that way. If it did, you'd just hook your mobile device up directly to your car battery and have it charged in minutes.

      The device itself determines how fast it gets charged by drawing a certain amount of current. Based on passive or active measures, it might draw more current (say, 2A max) from e.g. a wall charger than from a computer USB port (say 500mA max), but if you decided to just wire two wall chargers together, the device isn't magically going to draw 4A.

      As for your Kindle, depending on the model you have (Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Fire? big difference), it really should charge in just a few hours to the point where it decides it's charged (based on LiPo voltage levels). Sounds to me like the internal battery in your unit may be worn and either the charge controller is dropping charging current way too early, or the battery's voltage level takes too long to reach the 'charged' state during the voltage phase. If it's within its warranty period, try exchanging it.

      Of course the other possibility is that your nights are very short :)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    USB Type-C
    Between the slick new connector, usb power up to 120W (plenty for a laptop), the 10Gb USB3.1 speeds, and the DisplayPort alternate mode, this is shaping up to be the one port to rule them all. And if Apple throws their weight behind it (as the rumors of the 12" MacBook seem to indicate they will, at least for Macs (it would be great if they went to standard connectors on iOS devices as well, but that may be less likely)) this could be a quick transition.

    Rezence
    Magnetic resonance charging (which

  • Every dollar store sells USB wall chargers. I just don't see, given I can buy as many wall chargers as I want for between one and two dollars a pop, why we care that CES had companies selling overpriced chargers.

    • Re:You know... (Score:4, Informative)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday January 27, 2015 @12:30AM (#48911117) Homepage Journal

      Every dollar store sells USB wall chargers

      Speaking of that - maybe everybody knows this already but it had escaped my attention - I was getting annoyed that my phone charges very fast with the Samsung charger/cable but rather slowly with the well-rated 2A charger I bought off Amazon.

      The issue was my dollar-store cables. Long story short, there is 28/28 gauge wire inside cheap cables and the resistance means they can only pull 500mA. The electronics at both ends are smart enough to figure this out. What you need is a
      28/24 cable [amazon.com] and then you can get a fast charge.

      I'm using Galaxy Charging Current Lite [google.com] to measure my existing USB cables and tossing the ones that can't handle at least 1.3A. This helps with my over-stuffed box of USB cables too.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Thanks for the info. I've suspected this before when I've tried to use a USB A-A extension cable but get annoyingly slow charge times. I figured the length of the cable increased resistance but didn't know they made them with bigger wires.

      • I prefer these things, they're just a couple bucks and you also get the voltage - you won't believe how often usb ports and other usb power sources are under volted

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      Not all chargers are alike. There are reviews about how clean the 5 volt DC power is on various models, especially when one plugs and unplugs devices... and it varies from quite good to pure crap.

      A lot of them only handle 500 milliamps, making them worthless for newer devices, some of them require 2.1 amps in order to even bother charging.

      There are many brands that are decent. If I am going to use a wall socket, I want as many ports as possible, so I like the Lumsing five port model, assuming there is spa

  • This might save the cord fray near the charger, but it doesn't save the connector end (which fails every damn time).
  • "Timothy was the only Slashdot person working CES, so it's shocking that he managed to cover as many (hopefully interesting) products as he did, considering that even the biggest IT journo mills don't come close to total coverage of the overwhelming muddle CES has become in recent years"

    Isn't it a bit much to start telling all of /. how wonderful /. is in TFS? It's kind of preaching to the choir, but in such a way as to make the choir think the preacher's actually a bit full of himself, and make them want to give up the choir....

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