Getting Lucky at the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show

Last week, we took our personal hydrogen fuel cell charger Upp to the people who make it their goal to live life unplugged: the attendees of The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show. For the uninitiated, the Outdoor Show (as it’s affectionately called) is the UK’s largest exhibition for adventurers of all types. Whether your hobby is travelling, photography, climbing or watersports – or if you’d just like to pick up some new gear—the Outdoor Show is a must–attend. Beyond just practical shopping, it’s a great place to get inspired and check out what’s new in the adventure circuit. So of course, this was the perfect place for us to display Upp.

Go Outdoors 4
We were at London’s ExCel Centre for all four days of the conference, from Thursday, February 12 to Sunday, February 15. Of course, we had our work cut out for us keeping all of our fellow adventurers and conference attendees powered up and unplugged. While many attendees had scaled mountains before, sometimes there’s no more impossible feat than just keeping your phone charged at one of these marathon conferences.  But we decided to debut a special feature at this conference for those who were feeling particularly lucky: our very own Wheel of Fortune! How did it work? Conference attendees could spin to win an Upp, a cartridge or an Upp-powered device like a GoPro! There were no losers here – everyone who spun walked away with at least a lollypop.

As for the conference itself, we definitely got inspired for our next adventure. There were stands for destinations all over the world, climbing centres to test our abilities before hitting some real boulders, and even some downright bizarre displays of skills that we hope to never have to put to the test, like skinning rabbits and eating worms.

Did you attend the show? What there inspired you to want to live life unplugged the most?


Cars, Wearables and Drones, Oh My: CES 2015 Highlights

For its 48th year running, International CES 2015 did not disappoint, drawing 3,600 exhibitors and more than 160,000 people to the desert of Las Vegas for flashy product launches, parties and keynotes. It’s undoubtedly one of the most exhausting weeks of the year leaving us with aching feet and much less hydrated than when we arrived. But it’s worth it after witnessing the year’s most mind-blowing technology firsthand.

Undoubtedly, 2015 will be remembered as the year we build a more connected and mobile world. Cars, drones, wearables, 3D printers and smart-everything captivated our attention and the attention of show-goers judging by the conversations we overheard in the crowded halls of the LVCC and the Sands.

The best keynote of CES 2015, according to The Verge, was delivered by Intel CEO Brian Krzanic who opened with a concept that precisely sums up the show: “We’re going from a two dimensional world, to a three dimensional world. This additional dimension will change how we experience computing.” While he included no mention at all of the much buzzed about “Internet of Things,” there were plenty of theatrical demonstrations of “autonomous drones, intelligent doorways, and sight-assisting jackets.”

Here are some of the highlights that caught our attention:

Cars. Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle, Mercedes-Benz self-driving prototype, Audi’s self-driving A7. If we didn’t know better we’d say we were at a car show. In fact, CES is now being called the most important car show of the year. With a record 10 automakers at this year’s CES, Krzanic’s statement rings true – the way we experience computing is changing and that includes in our vehicles. One announcement we’re particularly excited about: Toyota will grant access to its intellectual property, a move that we hope will help to build the fuel cell infrastructure for a growing hydrogen economy in 2015.

Wearables. We saw smartwatches in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. It’s clear that designing accessories that blend in to look and feel like regular jewelry is top of mind for companies. CNET noted “Misfit’s Swarovski Shine solar-powered fitness jewelry looks like Swarovski jewelry. A crystal-studded necklace, a crystal pendant. You’d never know someone was wearing a smart device just from looking at it.” Not a wearable per say but we also got a sweat on testing Tao, a tiny gym in your pocket, which looks like a computer mouse but allows you to work out anywhere using body weight. Importantly, dogs made a major showing at CES this year – we saw a smart collar for your pup called Tagg that tracks location, activity and body temperature of your pet. And topping it off, a smart belt that automatically compensates for your giant dinner.

Drones. Drones aren’t new to CES but this year they seemed to be more prevalent and not surprisingly, more intelligent. The main uses for drones are military and photography controlled by remote but last week several autonomous drones made an appearance including the Airdog, Hexo+, Trace and Ghost. With a “follow me” feature, “the drone locks onto you and flies anywhere you go.” DJI’s new drone, the Inspire 1, was one of the most popular products thanks to its stabilizing 4K camera, but possibly topping all drone showings was the choreographed drone dance performed by Parrot.

Julian Hughes, Intelligent Energy’s Corporate Business Development Director, demonstrates Upp™, the company’s portable hydrogen fuel cell power solution for USB-compatible devices.

Julian Hughes, Intelligent Energy’s Corporate Business Development Director, demonstrates Upp™, the company’s portable hydrogen fuel cell power solution for USB-compatible devices.

Rounding out a great week, we were thrilled to be named a CES Innovation Award Honoree for our latest fuel cell innovation named, Upp, the portable power solution driven by a hydrogen fuel cell to power up USB-compatible devices. Between Toyota’s fuel cell Mirai and the Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion, which is powered by a fuel cell and a battery, fuel cells were a hot topic at CES 2015. As we enter the New Year, we’re excited to play a role in the hydrogen economy and bring new forms of energy mainstream to enable today’s always-on connected consumer and world!

Julian Hughes picks up the 2015 CES Innovation Award.

Julian Hughes picks up the 2015 CES Innovation Award.

TechCrunch Disrupt London Gets to #PowerUpp with Intelligent Energy

While we had a blast helping TechCrunch Disrupt SF live life unplugged a few weeks ago, we wanted to bring some of that great buzz closer to home. Fortunately, we got the chance to do just that this week at TechCrunch Disrupt in London. There are no shortage of bright minds and great ideas on our side of the pond, and so it was great to show off Upp amongst more local peers.

How did we fare on our home turf?  Better than ever! Once again, it turns out there’s nothing like wandering around a conference all day and draining your phone battery by noon to make you appreciate when someone hands you a portable hydrogen fuel cell. By 11 am both days, we had desperate attendees swarming the booth, many of them notified of our presence by the groundswell of enthusiasm for Upp on social media.

Tweet 1The TechCrunch attendees were not only incredibly appreciative of the convenience of getting to borrow a portable charger, but they were also completely wowed by the technology itself. Given the technical background of many of the attendees, they were fascinated by the sophisticated fuel cell technology compressed into Upp, and truly amazed that this kind of product will soon be available for them to purchase and use on a daily basis. The crew from ITProPortal even stopped by, and were so impressed by our demo that they featured Upp as one of the most exciting finds at the conference in their roundup of the action.

Tweet 2

Favourite moment? When a conference goer arrived at our stand with another battery pack, which he’d unfortunately forgotten to charge before heading out to TechCrunch, thus rendering it useless. It really brought home the benefits of Upp versus other portable chargers – why live your life attached to wall charging but just with a longer tether when you could abandon the socket altogether and live life unplugged? Upp saved the day, and we charged not just his depleted phone, but his battery as well. Needless to say, we can now count him as one of our successful converts.

It was another great event, and the buzz about Upp is only continuing to grow. Luckily, all of our devotees won’t have much longer to wait!

Upp personal energy turns heads at CES 2014

It’s been an exciting time for Intelligent Energy. We’ve just returned from CES in Las Vegas where we were joined by 250,000 visitors as device makers put their cards on the table and showcased the best they have to offer in consumer electronics, from electric vehicles to smart watches and expanding smart devices.

While electronics continues to shrink in its size and power consumption, phablet launches from both Hisense and Samsung bucked the trend this year with much larger screens, with the former measuring 12.2-inches and the latter 6.8-inches. Meanwhile Sony’s Experia Z1 Compact won Engadget’s Best of CES Award having shrunk a very capable phone into a smaller, and well received, package with an impressive 20.7 Mega Pixel camera and a top-of-the-class quad-core processor.

No matter which new device you place your bets on in 2014, Consumer Electronics Show visitors know only too well that having enough energy to make it through a busy day is by no means guaranteed – especially as screens grow and processors get faster and more capable.  We unveiled our solution to these personal device energy challenges on Monday, announcing our partnership with high-technology electronics specialist Brookstone to make Upp fuel cell personal energy available throughout the US. The launch earned prominent US media coverage with reports in CNN and CNET and was featured in The Denver Post’s 5 things you missed at CES and Fox 2 news’ Six odd and crazy technologies at CES (We read “crazy” as something they haven’t seen before!)

Upp charging a smartphone

Upp charging a smartphone

It stands to reason that US consumers need help staying connected: North America has the highest 4G mobile network penetration in the world, accounting for 10% of all connections. But while the myriad of 4G connectivity solutions at CES provide vast opportunities to mobile device users, it also considerably reduces mobile battery life. This challenge makes Upp ideal for US consumers who want 4G’s improved connectivity, but don’t want the limitation of staying near a plug socket to recharge their device every few hours.

We’d like to thank our partners at Brookstone for putting up a great stand at CES – and all the people that came to experience our new portable fuel cell energy first hand. From now on US customers will be able use the Upp personal energy device stay connected at all times: on the subway, exploring outdoors, or wherever they venture in the world with personal energy in the palm of their hands. Brookstone’s extensive presence throughout US airports will offer consumers on-the-go easy access to this mobile power source to supply their energy needs, with the facility to exchange cartridges as required – each giving up to a week’s energy for the most power hungry smartphones.

Upp demonstration on Brookstone stand at CES

Upp demonstration on Brookstone stand at CES

The adoption of smart mobile devices such as phones, phablets and tablets is a global phenomenon, providing international business hubs with 24 hour access to emails, calls and enabling developing nations with sparse infrastructure to connect and build mobile economies. Whether you’re a busy Silicon Valley entrepreneur visiting investors or a climber exploring the Rockies, the odds are that your battery will run low when you’re off the power grid with no wall socket to plug in to. The Upp device evens the odds stacked against the mobile user with what New Scientist names the “key component seemingly left in the dust” – insufficient battery life –  recharges a vast array of USB compatible devices from camera to GPS with hydrogen fuel cell technology.

While CES may have showcased many innovations, few offer energy freedom like Upp. Intelligent Energy’s new partnership with Brookstone will provide US consumers complete independence from the grid and the freedom to achieve their goals both professionally and personally on their own terms, making their own luck with a trump card – freedom from the grid.

Drive ‘n’ Ride 2012

Last week, we took part in the Drive ‘n’ Ride zero emission vehicle event in Strasbourg, where members of the European Parliament and their advisors were able to test drive or be a passenger in the latest generation of fuel cell electric vehicles.

Brian Simpson, MEP for the North West of England and Chair of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee kicked off the event, with the aim of demonstrating the readiness of fuel cells and hydrogen as a viable route to zero emission transport in Europe

The cars on display included our hydrogen fuel cell powered electric taxi amongst others provided by automotive manufacturers including Daimler, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai. In addition to the vehicles, guests at the event received a demonstration of the hydrogen refuelling process at Strasbourg’s first fully mobile and compact hydrogen station, clearly demonstrating what a simple, safe and speedy process this is!

This Drive ‘n’ Ride event is aimed at highlighting the remaining challenges associated with building refuelling infrastructure and reducing costs with production scale. It was particularly timely too with work underway by the national governments in Germany, the UK and Scandinavian to support the introduction fuel cell electric vehicles and refuelling stations into the market.

This event follows a successful summer for Intelligent Energy, especially as one of the lead partners of the HyTEC project (Hydrogen Transport for European Cities). We were especially delighted to talk about the project in more detail and as an opportunity to demonstrate the readiness of fuel cell electric vehicles to help bring to market in Europe, practical zero emission transport in Europe.

LCV 2012

One of our fuel cell electric taxis took time out from its Paralympics schedule to head up to LCV2012, the UK’s largest low carbon vehicle event, which returned to the Millbrook Proving Ground this week. Over 2,500 delegates attended the two day event in Bedfordshire, with the Intelligent Energy team joining more than 110 other exhibitors, including the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, McLaren and General Motors.

LCV2012 was opened by Michael Fallon (pictured here talking to our VP Business Development, Dennis Hayter), the new Minister for Business, who then enjoyed a zero emission taxi journey back to the station so he could catch his train back to London. The minister was also treated to a refuelling demonstration at the new Air Products fuel station based at Millbrook.

The event featured an extensive conference and technical seminar programme running in parallel, with Dennis taking the stand himself on Thursday to present on the introduction of the fuel cell electric taxi fleet to London and provide insight into the initial operational results.

As ever, it was a great event and a terrific showcase for the capabilities of UK low carbon technology providers. We’re already looking forward to LCV2013!

Event: Advanced Engineering Summit 2012

Today, Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell technology, which powers the fuel cell taxis, was showcased at the Advanced Engineering Summit held in the British Business Embassy at Lancaster House, London.

We found ourselves in great company at this prestigious event with our fuel cell system being displayed alongside exhibits from Jaguar Land Rover, JCB and McLaren to name but a few.

Motive Managing Director James Batchelor took part in a panel discussion entitled ‘Developing a global, sustainable automotive industry for the future’ alongside Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and Prof Neville Jackson, Chief Technology/Innovation Officer at Ricardo.

Intelligent Energy’s CEO, Dr Henri Winand, who had personally received an invitation from the British Government, arrived in style in one of our fuel cell electric taxis (pictured).