Hydrogen fuel cell for USB devices

The Challenge

Intelligent Energy has created Upp, a USB battery power pack that harnesses the power of hydrogen fuel cells to help consumers recharge their smart phones, cameras, and other USB-based devices. The Upp battery doesn’t require charging; it generates its own power via a fuel cell. Intelligent Energy called on Speck Design to design this groundbreaking device.


The Solution

The contradiction between Upp’s inherent power and small form factor catalyzed our design thinking. This object that captured “lightning in a bottle” called for an approachable and easy to use exterior that nonetheless alluded to its powerful contents.

We also concerned ourselves with the way the Upp components came together. The fuel cell generator and detachable hydrogen cartridge needed to connect smoothly and easily.


The Results

By carefully assessing proportion and mass, Speck Design communicated both extreme power and solid battery reliability within a small and manageable size. We addressed a common use case -- outdoor travel -- by designing the water-bottle-sized Upp to easily fit in a backpack pouch. This portable travel companion can help USB-compatible devices stay powered up while in the air or on the road.

When you need reliable and plentiful USB battery power on the go, there's no room for error. Our elegant and friendly design communicates that capability to anyone using it. The simple component attachment process supports this ease of use and allows Upp to be a quick and convenient resource in a potentially challenging physical environment.

Capabilities involved

Disciplines involved