After its first delivery to Microsoft on Friday, Medis, a startup specializing in fuel cells, revealed the software giant's intentions to brand the products as its own and sell them as portable recharging stations for consumer devices. According to Medis, the "24/7 Power Pack" is a "handy, mobile and disposable charger with multiple connectors for immediate use of your electronic device." They are designed for portable devices such as Blackberrys, mobile phones, and digital cameras. Although Microsoft could be backing the technology as a battery backup for all sorts of devices, Microsoft only has its own Zune digital media player that can directly take advantage of the new product. How Microsoft will position and sell the devices is unclear.
The 24/7 Power Pack is a Direct Liquid Fuel Cell, which typically means that the fuel cell uses methanol as a catalyst, combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms together to form water, with electricity produced as a byproduct. "This is an historic moment for our company. It marks the first commercial sales of our 24/7 Power Pack product and indeed, the first commercial sales in quantities of any consumer fuel cell product. We are pleased to be able to serve Microsoft as our first customer," stated Robert K. Lifton, chairman and chief executive of Medis Technologies. Medis appears to have only recently achieved full production. Until last year, the company was manufacturing the fuel cells on a semi-automated line in the thousands of units. By the current second quarter, however, Medis said that an automated line would be shipped to a Celestica facility in Ireland and would be up and running, producing up to 1.5 million Power Packs per month.
News source: ExtremeTech