Want to Play More Pokemon Go? Grab One of These Batteries

Pokemon / Apple
Pokemon / Apple

The Pokemon Go sensation that's sweeping the country is getting people to exercise, forcing them to learn the metric system, and restoring Pikachu's pop-culture prominence. Unfortunately, by keeping trainers' phone screens lit, it's also draining their batteries at an astonishing clip. While there are a number of tricks players have found for extending their phones' battery lives, from lowering their screens' brightness to switching off the game's augmented reality feature, nothing is as frustrating as watching your phone die while you're tracking a particularly elusive Pokemon. No Pokemon Go player wants to miss a shot at Ditto because their phone pulled a Snorlax and conked out on them.

If you really want to pound the pavement to catch monsters and incubate eggs, you're going to need more than battery hacks. You're going to need more juice. By picking up a portable charger or a charging case, you'll be able to quickly top up your battery while you're on the hunt for that elusive Mew. Grab one of these gadgets and watch your Pokedex fill up.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. Good luck Pokemon catching, and let us know if you spot Vaporeon.

1. ANKER POWERCORE+ mini 3350mAh, $19.99

Anker's tiny charger packs enough juice to fully charge an iPhone 6 into a package the size of a lipstick.

Find it: Amazon

2. ANKER POWERCORE 5000, $21.99

The Ivysaur to the previous entry's Bulbasaur, this cylindrical charger is a little larger, which gives it enough oomph to charge an iPhone 6s twice.

Find it: Amazon

3. X-DRAGON 10,000 mAh DUAL USB SOLAR POWER BANK, $18.99

Any trainer who has been playing Pokemon Go long enough has probably dreamed of leaving the grid and heading deep into the forest to spend the rest of their days amassing an army of Vileplume. The only major hurdle? Keeping your phone charged where there aren't outlets. X-DRAGON's charger harnesses the power of the sun to keep your devices up and running.

Find it: Amazon

4. ANKER ULTRA SLIM EXTENDED BATTERY CASE, $42.99

If you're looking for a more streamlined solution to your power woes, review site The Wirecutter raves about Anker's battery case, which can boost an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s's battery life by 120 percent. It's slim enough that it won't affect your Pokeball tossing skills.

Find it: Amazon

5. ANKER A127 20,000 mAh PORTABLE CHARGER POWERCORE 20100, $55.99

If you're going to try to catch enough Magikarp to evolve into a Gyarados in a single Pokemon Go session, you're going to need patience and a lot of battery life. Anker's bigger charger only weighs as much as a can of soup, but it's capable of fully charging an iPhone 6s over seven times. Better yet, since it's got dual USB ports, you can lend a little juice to your fellow trainers.

Find it: Amazon

BONUS: MAKE YOUR OWN

If you want a battery that matches the Pokemon theme, consider making one yourself. This handy DIY guide will show you how to make a battery that houses your phone and looks just like a classic Pokedex. Paired with a trainer hat, it'll be like you're really in Kanto.

Find it: SparkFun

This Smart Ink Poster Changes According to the Weather

Typified
Typified

With detailed weather data available at a glance on smartphones or on the Weather Channel 24 hours a day, checking the forecast has never been easier. But Typified, a Melbourne, Australia-based company, believes that some people would rather hang their weather forecast on the wall than look at their phone or television. Typified is currently enjoying a successful round of funding on Kickstarter for its Weather Poster, a mountable “screen” that depicts current weather conditions.

Look closely, though, and you’ll see it’s not really a screen at all. Instead, Typified is using paper and digital ink to create a dynamic display that can react to the changing weather with a Wi-Fi connection.

The silk-screen printed poster has a simple layout, with three weather icons—rain and snow, cloudy, or sunny—that correspond to four-hour intervals throughout the day. Using input from a tiny built-in computer, the ink in the icons changes color from blue to white to indicate current conditions and the forecast.

Typified is betting that people aren’t looking for another high-tech display for their home or office—the poster, which emits no light at all, is unobtrusive, and lightweight enough (3.4 pounds) to be hung on a wall with adhesive strips.

Buy one for yourself on Kickstarter, where a pledge of $135 earns supporters one Weather Poster and two years of free weather forecasts (subsequently $7.50 per year). The campaign runs through March 4, and the poster is set to be shipped to backers in July 2019.

This Interactive Toy Plays With Your Dog When You're Busy Folding Laundry or Watching Your Favorite Show

Wickedbone, Amazon
Wickedbone, Amazon

Let’s be honest: Energetic dogs are wonderful, but they can also be exhausting. Some pups never seem to grow tired of running around, and it often takes a little extra effort (and exertion, on the owner’s part) to keep them entertained. If you’re looking for a way to help your dog beat boredom without wearing yourself out, the Wickedbone might be a good one to keep in your toy bin.

Available on Amazon, this robotic, interactive toy spotted by Designboom is ideal for busy pet owners as well as dogs that could use a little extra exercise or stimulation. The bone-shaped smart toy spins, jumps, and rolls around autonomously on both indoor and outdoor surfaces.

One of the advantages of this toy is that users can be as hands-on or hands-off as they'd like. They can either set it to interactive mode and step away to take care of other business, or take control of the toy’s movements through a smartphone app that pairs with the toy via Bluetooth. In drive mode, the app’s virtual joystick lets users control the direction and choose between nine different motions, including “quick jump,” “front flip,” “shake body,” and “quick spin.” Other settings can also be customized, like the surface (hard or soft), area (small or wide), speed, acceleration, and swerve speed.

The toy’s battery lasts the longest in interactive mode—about four hours—while the app mode can be used for about 40 minutes. In the event that the Wickedbone hits a patch of mud or dog poo, the tires can be popped off and cleaned under running water.

The product has a nearly four-star overall rating on Amazon, and many of them are rave reviews. One reviewer called it a “lifesaver,” while another said the toy is great for “tough chewers.” (Small bite marks won’t affect the product, the company notes.) At $140, the Wickedbone is a bit steeper than most dog toys—but for the price of having a happier, healthier pooch (and a saner owner), it might just be worthwhile.

Buy it on Amazon or at these other retailers:

[h/t Designboom]

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