Bicycle-powered generators aren't new concepts by any stretch, but they frequently generate AC power and sometimes can't charge at all when the pedaling stops. Siva Cycle doesn't think either limitation is very helpful for powering a smartphone during the daily commute, so it's launching the Atom generator to keep the energy flowing smoothly. The rear-wheel unit puts out power regulated to match its USB port, and it includes a detachable 1,300mAh lithium polymer battery that can follow riders long after they've parked. Moreover, the Atom is unintrusive -- it slips on after releasing the rear wheel, and it's diminutive enough to minimize drag.
As is often the case these days, the catch is getting the product to market. Siva Cycle wants to crowdfund $85,000 to make the Atom's November release target, and supporters will need to plunk down at least $85 to receive a generator, if its fundraising goes smoothly. When the company plans to donate one Atom to the needy for every ten it sells, however, the pledge is for a good cause -- and it might be the key to having a usable device charge after a bike ride home.