April 15, 2014
A Smaller Power Supply Darts In On Kickstarter
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Laptops are synonymous with "the brick" AC adaptor, which is often the size of a masonry block. However, a new company using patented MIT technology has downsized the power supply and has now launched a Kickstarter campaign for further funding.
FINsix is using Kickstarter as a platform to launch Dart. The Dart is a full-powered 65W AC adaptor. It also has a built-in 2.1 amp USB port so that you can use it to charge a phone or tablet at the same time as powering your laptop, or separately. The company says the Dart makes it possible to bring one cord to power all devices.
“We are very excited to make the Dart available to consumers and businesses. Its small size and ultra-light weight make it incredibly portable, and its built-in USB port eliminates the need to carry multiple chargers. With the Dart, we look forward to lightening the load of everyone on the go," said FINsix CEO Vanessa Green, in a company statement.
The company says the transformer on the Dart is four times smaller than a 65W adapter and six times lighter. The transformer portion plugs directly into the wall and a continuous cable plugs into a laptop.
With 29 days to go on its Kickstarter campaign FINsix has already raised over $230,000 from over 2,100 backers, surpassing its goal of $200,000. FINsix expects to begin shipping orders in November. Initial orders are priced at a $79 pledge with a few custom options, including the option for a MacBook.
In addition to the smaller and lighter form factor, the Dart is engineered to keep cool and not overheat. It is also compatible with most major PC brands.
The Dart was shown in January at the 2014 CES, VentureBeat reports. "The 65 watt charger is basically the same device we saw back in January: Dart is around a third of the size of a typical laptop charger, and it sports two USB charging ports. Dart could easily find an audience among consumers who don’t want to be encumbered by bulky chargers — especially since our laptops are also becoming thinner and lighter every year," VentureBeat's Devindra Hardawar wrote.
FINsix is launching its product on Kickstarter, but has also raised over $6 million in financing from Venrock and other angel investors, VentureBeat reports. The venture financing helped the company develop the technology so it was ready for consumer use. "We wanted to get engaged with customers, get feedback, and build those relationships. We felt a Kickstarter campaign is a good way for us to engage directly with users," Green was quoted, by VentureBeat.
FINsix is a developer of very high frequency (VHF) power conversion technology. The Dart combines fundamental circuit concepts such as resonance and wave shaping with new power conversion architectures. The VHF system can power up to 1,000 times faster than what is currently on the market. FINsix's VHF technology is covered by 20 issued and pending patents.