Asmo Charger electrifies global interest
Asmo Solutions has developed a charger which is safer and more efficient than practically anything on the market.
It was the mother-in-law’s fault. The childhood home of Asmo Saloranta’s fiancée Johanna was gutted by a fire because they left a mobile phone charger plugged into the wall.
“My mother-in-law asked me why I wasn’t inventing a charger which you can safely leave plugged in,” Saloranta says. “I told her that it was impossible. Companies like Nokia have already tried and failed. Then two years later I woke up in the middle of the night because I got an idea how to do it. What you do to make your mother-in-law happy!”
On and off the grid
His company’s solution is the Asmo Charger, which has been dubbed the most sophisticated mobile charger ever built. Most chargers still use energy if they are plugged into an electrical socket even when they aren’t charging a phone. This wastes a small amount of energy but is also a fire hazard, as Saloranta’s in-laws discovered.
Thus the Asmo Charger is switches off automatically when the phone is unplugged from it.
“It is completely isolated from the electric grid, just as if you had unplugged it,” Saloranta explains. “But the magic here is the Asmo Charger also switches back on automatically when you plug your phone back in.”
The charger uses a solution which sounds simple but actually took an enormous amount of work to develop. It uses the phone battery to power open the relay, which then makes the energy start to flow and charges the battery. When the phone is removed from the charger the relay stops.
The power of the masses
Asmo Solutions has received venture funding, but it has relied heavily on crowdfunding to get its idea developed and into people’s hands. In the summer of 2015 they raised about 93 000 US dollars on Indiegogo and in the autumn of 2016 they gathered almost 1.3 million euros on Privanet’s private investor platform. Yet these efforts are not just about raising money.
“There are a lot of different reasons why I had a crowdfunding campaign,” Saloranta continues. “You get publicity, funding, pre-orders and market research. Crowdfunding can drive or stop your idea. Both are good. If people do not buy your project there is no good reason to continue that idea as a business.”
The Indiegogo campaign induced almost 1 500 backers to pluck down money for an initial charger. The big players in the industry also took notice. Soon manufacturers began to contact Saloranta.
Horrible and awesome ride
The current version of the charger is for devices with a micro USB connector. They expect to have a model for Apple products in the summer of 2017. To help lead Asmo Solutions Saloranta recruited Marc Dillon, the former head of mobile technology company Jolla.
“Now I have the opportunity and resources to design new products which make our lives safer, easier and more sustainable,” Saloranta concludes. “It has been both a horrible and awesome ride. I failed hundreds of times while doing this, but for every failure there was a lesson. Many people ask if I would have done things differently, but I say hell no! If I changed something, would this still be a success?”
Text: David J. Cord