Soon you can hand crank your iPhone, like our ancient ancestors

If you truly want to get off the grid but still need to use your iPhone, check out this new Indiegogo crowd funding project called the CrankCase.

The CrankCase is a durable case for the iPhone with a built-in hand-crank charger. Crank it for five minutes and get up to three hours of life for an iPhone 5. If you can only spare one minute of time to crank, you can still add another 40 minutes of talk time to your iPhone.

Ampware doesn't plan to start shipping the CrankCase until October, 2015, but you can pre-order now starting at $49.99 — the retail price will be $129.99 if the product makes it to market.

The developers also plan to produce a CrankBox device; it's a more universal charging mechanism that works with any smartphone or USB-powered device that can charge up from a 500 mA output.

If you're the sort of person that likes to get away from it all but still wants to be able to call, text or use apps in a pinch, the CrankCase and CrankBox might be really appealing. If you have any sort of repetitive strain injury on your wrists or lower arms, though, you might want to pass on this one.

CrankCase and CrankBox are really neat ideas. Hopefully they'll be able to take it to the next step — they've given themselves until April 18, 2015 to raise $50,000 on Indiegogo. You can also get more info on the Ampware Web site.

Peter Cohen
  • Interesting product goes good with my Shake Flashlight Sent from the iMore App
  • There's a load of survivalist gear out there with not only crank for power but solar panels that have cell phone charging abilities.
  • Cool concept. Peter you look like you have lost a lot of weight in your new picture. Good job! I'm guessing it wasn't from crank charging your iPhone alone. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'd buy this. There are times when I'm far enough away from any sort of power outlet that this would come in really handy.
  • That is awesome haha. Good when you have no charger with you Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Nice idea. I hope it works as well as advertised. I'm more interested in the universal though so that I can charge my iPad as well. Sent from the iMore App
  • What if the product does NOT make it to market? Your out $50? Sent from the iMore App
  • That's always a danger when you engage in crowdfunding, which is why we rarely report on it. But this product tweaked my interest, so I figured I'd let folks know. If that sounds too sketchy for you, then by all means stay away.
  • Actually you get your money back if they do not reach there goal...its stated on the website
  • Don't bet on that. "I'm da Blur boys!" - Me with 1200 ping. Fiber in Nashville? Save me based Google.
  • No, you get your money back if they don't reach their goal. That's why it's called a pledge and not a giveusyourmoneynow.
  • Gramatically incorrect headline. Sent from the iMore App