A device and system for charging mobile electronic devices

Info

Publication number
WO2015167476A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
connector
battery
external
pack
subassembly
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2014/035948
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Cory AZZALINO
Duncan SWEZEY
Pepin S. GELARDI
Theodore R. ULLRICH
Dean Dipietro
Original Assignee
Powerit, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • H02J7/0052Charge circuits only
    • H02J7/00Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02J7/0054Battery to battery charging
    • H02J7/0013Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries for charging several batteries simultaneously or sequentially
    • H02J7/00Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02J7/0027Stations for charging mobile units, e.g. of electric vehicles, of mobile telephones
    • H02J7/0042Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries characterised by the mechanical construction
    • H02J7/00Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02J7/0044Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries characterised by the mechanical construction specially adapted for holding portable devices containing batteries
    • H02J50/00Circuit arrangements or systems for wireless supply or distribution of electric power
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02J50/10Circuit arrangements or systems for wireless supply or distribution of electric power using inductive coupling

Abstract

A device and system for charging mobile electronic devices. The system may comprise external battery packs, return bays, a kiosk, power source, and computer system. The external battery pack may matingly engage with the mobile electronic device in order to provide power to the mobile electronic device. The return bay may receive the external battery pack and is configured to slide the connector subassembly to an open position. The kiosk may house the return bays and may recharge, store, and vend the external battery packs to the users. The power source generally provides power to the external battery pack when recharging. The computer system generally monitors the charging of the external battery packs and may communicate with a central server. The system generally allows charging of a wide variety of mobile electronic devices such as cellular phones, smartphones, tablet computers, laptop computers, multimedia players, and the like.

Description

A DEVICE AND SYSTEM FOR CHARGING MOBILE

ELECTRONIC DEVICES

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to charging devices and systems for charging mobile electronic devices. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to external battery packs and to kiosks for charging, distributing, and maintaining the external battery packs.

BACKGROUND

[0002] For decades, reliance on mobile technology has been increasing. One prominent example of mobile technology that is constantly being used and consistently being used more frequently is smart phones. Originally, cellular phones provided a way to allow a user to make a phone call from just about anywhere. However, with the advent of smart phones, cellular phones have evolved and expanded to include, in addition to just making phone calls, sending text messages, sending and receiving emails, surfing the Internet, playing games, reviewing work related email attachments, and utilizing complex applications.

[0003] One major problem that affects cellular phones and now smart phones, is that battery technology has been unable to prolong application usage in a complex setting such as multitasking. Cellular phones originally had a simple functionality of only making phone calls, which required much less battery power. However, with the advent of smart phones featuring large five inch displays, 3D games, Internet browsing, and complex applications, while performing various computations, smart phones are generally consuming more energy than their immediate predecessors.

[0004] Previously, older cellular phones were capable of running for days on a single charge. These cellular phones also allowed an individual to access and easily replace the batteries so that the user could very easily continue to power the cellular phone. Currently, however, many smart phones generally do not even last a day under normal usage, and generally do not have an accessible main battery. As a result, many smart phones do not usually last a full day, and generally do not allow the user to easily swap out the battery to get more energy while on the go.

[0005] One possible solution would be to carry a phone charger at all times. However, this can be quite cumbersome and, because a charger usually requires access to a power outlet, might fail as a solution if an outlet is not available. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for users to forget to wrap up and take their chargers with them every time they stop to charge. This results in chargers being left - and then likely taken by someone else - in hotel rooms, coffee houses, restaurants, conference rooms, airport lounges, and the like. Once the user loses the charger, the user must purchase another charger, or find another user who can provide a charger.

[0006] Another solution to this problem is to purchase and carry an external extended battery packs that can be connected to the smart phone to recharge the main battery. However, like chargers, a person must carry the external extended battery and any connection cords needed with him or her at all times. This quickly becomes a heavy and burdensome nuisance. In addition, the user must also take the time to recharge the external battery pack when it is not in use, which requires the user to have and carry twice as many charging cords as normal.

[0007] Thus, there remains a need for a device and system to provide users with access to power for their mobile devices when phone chargers are retracted and not in a connectable position and that does not have to be carried around by the user.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] To minimize the limitations in the cited references, and to minimize other limitations that will become apparent upon reading and understanding the present specification, the following discloses a new and useful device and system for charging mobile devices.

[0009] One embodiment may be an external battery pack for charging a mobile electronic device, comprising: a main body assembly; at least one connector subassembly; a rechargeable battery; one or more connectors; and one or more contacts; wherein the main body assembly houses the rechargeable battery; wherein the at least one connector subassembly comprise the one or more connectors; wherein the at least one connector subassembly is connected to the main body assembly, such that the one or more connectors are electrically connected to the rechargeable battery; wherein the one or more contacts are electrically connected to the rechargeable battery and are configured to receive power from a power source; and wherein the one or more connectors are configured to matingly engage with a corresponding connector of a mobile electronic device, such that, when the one or more connectors of the rechargeable battery pack engages with the corresponding connector of the mobile electronic device, the rechargeable battery pack provides power to the mobile electronic device. The at least one connector subassembly may be slideably connected to the main body assembly, such that, when the at least one connector subassembly slides away from the main body assembly, the at least one connector subassembly may be in an open configuration, and, when the at least one connector subassembly slides towards the main body assembly, the external battery pack may be in a closed configuration. The open configuration of the at least one connector subassembly may expose the one or more connectors, such that when the at least one connector subassembly slide outwards, the one or more connectors may be accessible and when the at least one connector subassembly slide inwards, the one or more connectors may be retracted and not in a connectable position. The open configuration of the at least one connector subassembly may be configured to allow the at least one connector subassembly and the main body assembly in combination to cradle the mobile electronic device when the one or more connectors matingly engage with the corresponding connector of the mobile electronic device. The one or more contacts may be located on the main body assembly; and wherein the one or more contacts may be concealable, such that the one or more contacts may be accessible when the at least one connector subassembly is in the open configuration and the one or more contacts may be inaccessible when the external battery pack is in the closed configuration. The one or more contacts may be further configured to transmit a diagnostic information to a computer system. The external battery pack may be configured to be vended from an automatic vending machine. The automatic vending machine may charge and vend the external battery pack.

[0010] Another embodiment may be a return bay of a vending machine for receiving, charging, and vending an external battery pack, comprising: a sleeve; a sliding rack; a pinion shaft; and a motor; wherein the sleeve is configured to receive an external battery pack; wherein the external battery pack comprises: a main body assembly and at least one connector subassembly; wherein the at least one connector subassembly is slideably connected to the main body assembly, such that, when the at least one connector subassembly slides away from the main body assembly, the at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration, and, when the at least one connector subassembly slides towards the main body assembly, the external battery pack is in a closed configuration; wherein the sliding rack is positioned at an end of the sleeve and is configured to slide the at least one connector subassembly away from the main body assembly; wherein the motor and the pinion shaft are configured to actuate the sliding of the sliding rack, such that, when the motor actuates the sliding rack to slide the at least one connector subassembly away from the main body assembly, the at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration and the return bay is in a locked configuration; and wherein the locked configuration prevents a user from removing the external battery pack from the return bay. The motor and the pinion shaft may be configured to actuate the sliding of the sliding rack, such that, when the motor actuates the sliding rack to slide the at least one connector subassembly towards the main body assembly, the external battery pack may be in a closed configuration and the return bay may be in an unlocked configuration; and wherein the unlocked configuration may allow a user to remove the external battery pack from the return bay. The return bay may further comprise one or more sensors; wherein the one or more sensors may be configured to detect when the sleeve receives the external battery pack. The external battery pack may further comprise: a rechargeable battery; and one or more contacts; wherein the one or more contacts may be electrically connected to the rechargeable battery and may be configured to receive a power from a power source; wherein the one or more contacts may be inaccessible unless the at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration; and wherein the contacts may be configured to receive the power from the power source via the one or more contacts when the return bay is in the locked configuration.

[0011] Another embodiment may be a system for receiving, charging, and vending mobile electronic devices, comprising: a kiosk; a power source; and a computer system; wherein the kiosk comprises: at least one slot and at least one return bay; wherein the at least one slot corresponds with the at least one return bay and is configured to receive an external battery pack; wherein the power source is electrically connected to the kiosk and recharges the external battery pack when the external battery pack is inserted into the at least one slot; and wherein the computer system monitors the at least one slot, the at least one return bay, and the external battery pack. The at least one return bay of the kiosk may comprise: a sleeve; a sliding rack; a pinion shaft; and a motor; wherein the sleeve is configured to receive the external battery pack; wherein the external battery pack comprises: a main body assembly and at least one connector subassembly; wherein the at least one connector subassembly is slideably connected to the main body assembly, such that, when the at least one connector subassembly slides away from the main body assembly, the at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration, and, when the at least one connector subassembly slides towards the main body assembly, the external battery pack is in a closed configuration; wherein the sliding rack is positioned at an end of the sleeve and is configured to slide the at least one connector subassembly away from the main body assembly; wherein the motor and the pinion shaft are configured to actuate the sliding of the sliding rack, such that, when the motor actuates the sliding rack to slide the at least one connector subassembly away from the main body assembly, the at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration and the return bay is in a locked configuration; and wherein the locked configuration prevents a user from removing the external battery pack from the return bay of the kiosk. The power source of the kiosk may charge the external battery pack when the return bay is in the locked configuration. The kiosk may obtain diagnostic information from the external battery pack when the return bay is in the locked configuration. The computer system may utilize the diagnostic information of the external battery pack to monitor the charging and vending of the external battery pack. The at least one slot may further comprise a light indicator; wherein the light indicator may activate when the external battery pack is fully charged and read to vend. The power source may be a solar panel. The computer system may comprise a touch screen; wherein the touch screen may allow the user to interact with the kiosk and displays information to the user. The kiosk may further comprise a credit card reader.

[0012] It is an object of the new device and system to avoid the limitations of the prior art.

[0013] Other features and advantages inherent in the device and system for charging electronic devices claimed and disclosed will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description and its accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The drawings are of illustrative embodiments. They do not illustrate all embodiments. Other embodiments may be used in addition or instead. Details which may be apparent or unnecessary may be omitted to save space or for more effective illustration. Some embodiments may be practiced with additional components or steps and/or without all of the components or steps which are illustrated. When the same numeral appears in different drawings, it refers to the same or like components or steps.

[0015] FIG. 1 is an illustration of a top perspective view of one embodiment of the external battery pack. [0016] FIG. 2 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows the external battery pack in a closed configuration.

[0017] FIG. 3 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows a single connector subassembly in an open configuration.

[0018] FIG. 4 is an illustration of a side perspective view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows two connector subassemblies in an open configuration.

[0019] FIG. 5 is an illustration of a top plan view of one embodiment of an external battery pack and shows two connector subassemblies in a closed configuration.

[0020] FIGS. 6a-c are illustrations of three embodiments of the connector subassembly and shows the connector subassembly with different possible connectors.

[0021] FIG. 7 is an illustration of an end view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows a connector subassembly in an open configuration.

[0022] FIG. 8 is an illustration of one embodiment the return bay.

[0023] FIG. 9 is an illustration of another embodiment of the return bay and shows the return bay in a locked configuration with a connector subassembly in a closed configuration.

[0024] FIG. 10 is an illustration of another embodiment of the return bay and shows the return bay in an unlocked configuration with one of the connector subassemblies in an open configuration.

[0025] FIG. 11 is an illustration of one embodiment of a kiosk for the system of charging mobile electronic devices.

[0026] FIG. 12 is an illustration of another embodiment of the kiosk.

[0027] FIG. 13 is a block diagram of one embodiment of the return bay.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

[0028] In the following detailed description of various embodiments of the invention, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various aspects of one or more embodiments of the invention. However, one or more embodiments of the invention may be practiced without some or all of these specific details. In other instances, well- known methods, procedures, and/or components have not been described in detail so as not to unnecessarily obscure aspects of embodiments of the invention. [0029] While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments of the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modifications in various obvious aspects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Accordingly, the graphs, figures, and the detailed descriptions thereof, are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive. Also, the reference or non-reference to a particular embodiment of the invention shall not be interpreted to limit the scope of the protection.

[0030] Before the present disclosure is described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the particular structures, process steps, or materials disclosed herein, but is external to equivalents thereof as would be recognized by those ordinarily skilled in the relevant arts. It should also be understood that terminology employed herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting.

[0031] In the following description, certain terminology is used to describe certain features of one or more embodiments of the invention. For example, a surface that is "substantially" flat would generally mean that the object is either completely flat or nearly completely flat. The exact allowable degree of deviation from absolute completeness may in some cases depend on the specific context. However, generally speaking, the nearness of completion will be so as to have the same overall result as if absolute and total completion were obtained. The use of "substantially" is equally applicable when used in a negative connotation to refer to the complete or near complete lack of an action, characteristic, property, state, structure, item, or result.

[0032] As used herein, the terms "universal serial bus" and "USB" generally refers to the universal serial bus commonly known and used in various electronic devices.

[0033] As used herein, the term "mobile electronic devices" generally refers to cellular phones, smart phones, tablet computers, laptop computers, personal digital assistants, portable media players, cameras, portable game players, hand-held computers, digital cameras, digital camcorders, wearable computers, and the like.

[0034] As used herein, the terms "plug" and "connector" generally refer to any various device connectors, which may be commonly used to connect to a corresponding connector or receptacle of an electronic device and charge that electronic device, or physically connect to two or more electronic devices. Some common plugs and connectors may include, without limitation, male USB plugs, male micro USB plugs, male mini USB plugs, D-miniature connectors, D- subminiature connectors, male 30-pin plugs, male lightning plugs, laptop plugs, and the like. The plug and connector may also include male and female connectors as well. The plug and connector may also include utilize inductive coupling for the purposes of inductive charging or wireless charging.

[0035] As used herein, the terms "charge", "charges", "charging", and "recharge" generally refer to process of energizing and/or supplying electrical energy to a battery, rechargeable battery, and/or one or more electrochemical cells used for electrochemical energy storage. The terms "charge", "charges", "charging", and "recharge" may also refer to inductive charging or "wireless charging", which generally utilizes an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects via an inductive coupling. Specifically, the term "inductive charging" generally refers to the transfer of energy through an inductive coupling to an electrical device, which can then use that energy to charge batteries or run the device.

[0036] As used herein, the term "rack gear" or "gear rack" generally refers to a linear gear often used in tandem with a pinion shaft to convert rotational motion into linear motion. In other words, the rack gear or gear rack is generally a rack and pinion that is a type of linear actuator that comprises a pair of gears which convert rotational motion into linear motion. A circular gear called "the pinion" generally engages teeth on a linear "gear" bar called "the rack"; rotational motion applied to the pinion generally causes the rack to move, thereby translating the rotational motion of the pinion into the linear motion of the rack.

[0037] As used herein, the term "diagnostic data" generally refers to any data used to provide the user or kiosk with information about the external battery pack, level of charge, age, wear and tear, connector type, overall condition, and the like.

[0038] As used herein, the term "trapezoidal prism" refers to a three dimensional shape having a base surface, top surface, right surface, left surface, front surface, and rear surface. The base, top, right, and left surfaces are substantially rectangular, and the front and rear surfaces are substantially trapezoidal.

[0039] As used herein, the term "rhombic prism" generally refers to a three dimensional shape having a base surface, top surface, right surface, left surface, front surface, and rear surface. The base face, top face, right face, and left face are substantially rectangular; and the front face and rear face are substantially rhomboidal.

[0040] As used herein, a plurality of items, structural elements, compositional elements, and/or materials may be presented in a common list for convenience. However, these lists should be construed as though each member of the list is individually identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same list solely based on their presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary.

[0041] FIG. 1 is an illustration of a perspective view of one embodiment of the external battery pack. As shown in FIG. 1, one embodiment of the external battery pack 100 may comprise: a main body assembly 105, first connector subassembly 110, and second connector subassembly 115. The first connector subassembly 110 may comprise a first connector 120, and the second connector subassembly 115 may comprise a second connector 125, wherein the first connector 120 and second connector 125 may be configured to matingly engage with a corresponding connector, typically a female connector, of a mobile electronic device. The first connector subassembly 110 and second connector subassembly 115 may be slideably connected to the main body assembly 105, such that the external battery pack 100 may be either in an open configuration or closed configuration. In the closed configuration, the main body assembly 105, the first connector subassembly 110, and the second connector subassembly 115 may form a shape convenient for storage and carrying. Specifically, the external battery pack 100, while in the closed configuration, may be shaped as a trapezoidal prism and may be easily and comfortably placed in a clothing pocket. The external battery pack 100 may also be symmetrical, substantially symmetrical or asymmetrical when in the closed configuration. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the shape of the external battery pack 100 may be a trapezoidal prism, in which the first connector subassembly 110 and the second connector subassembly 115 may be slideably connected at the proximal and distal ends of the main body assembly 105. The external battery pack 100, however, may be formed in a variety of shapes, such as rectangular boxes, prisms, rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, cylindrical, ellipsoidal, capsules, organic shapes, and the like. [0042] Regarding the first connector 120 and second connector 125, the external battery pack 100 may have multiple connectors to accommodate the various kinds of mobile electronic devices, such as cellular phones, smart phones, and tablet computers. For example, as shown in FIG. 1, the first connector 120 may be an Apple® 30-pin dock connector while the second connector 125 may be a micro USB connector. Alternatively, the first connector 120 may be a Sony Ericsson® connector while the second connector 125 may be a mini USB connector. Although only two connectors are shown, it should be understood that there may be any number of connectors, including only one or more than two.

[0043] FIG. 2 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows the external battery pack in a closed configuration. As shown in FIG. 2, one embodiment of the external battery pack 100 may comprise: a main body assembly 105, a first connector subassembly 110, and a second connector subassembly 115. FIG. 1 also shows that the first connector 120 and second connector 125 are protected in this retracted position and cannot be connected to a mobile electronic device.

[0044] FIG. 3 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows a single connector subassembly in an open configuration. As shown in FIG. 3, one embodiment of the external battery pack 100 may comprise: a main body assembly 105, first connector subassembly 110, second connector subassembly 115, and a first connector 120. FIG. 3 shows that the first connector subassembly 110 may slide along the main body assembly 105 to expose the first connector 120. The first connector 120 is generally attached to the first connector subassembly 110 and usually becomes accessible and usable once exposed. The first connector 120 may be a connector such as a male USB plug, male micro USB plug, male mini USB plug, male 30-pin plug, male Lightning® plug, or laptop plug. Additionally, as discussed above, the first connector subassembly 110 and second connector subassembly 115 may each comprise a connector, and each connector may comprise a different type of plug or tip configuration, such that one external battery pack 100 may charge two or more different mobile electronic devices. A mobile electronic device may be connected to either the first connector 120 or second connector 125, thereby receiving power from the external battery pack 100. If the external battery pack 100 has a flat back, the mobile electronic device (e.g. , smartphone) may sit flush against the upper side of the main body assembly 105, such that external battery pack 100 may cradle or otherwise support the mobile electronic device. The external battery pack 100 may also be designed to make both the mobile electronic device and external battery pack 100 not excessively bulky or cumbersome when connected.

[0045] FIG. 4 is an illustration of a side view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows two connector subassemblies in an open configuration. As shown in FIG. 4, one embodiment of the external battery pack 100 may comprise: main body assembly 105, first connector subassembly 110, second connector subassembly 115, first connector 120, second connector 125, and a charging port 130.

[0046] As discussed above, the first connector subassembly 110 may slide along the main body assembly 105 to expose the first connector 120. The first connector 120 may be attached to the first connector subassembly 110 and may become accessible and usable once exposed. The first connector 120 may be: a USB plug, micro USB plug, mini USB plug, 30-pin plug, Lightning® plug, laptop plug, or the like, so long as the first connector 120 may be used to connect to the mobile electronic device to provide power.

[0047] Similarly, the second connector subassembly 115 may slide along the main body assembly 105 to expose the second connector 125. The second connector 125 may be attached to the second connector subassembly 115 and may become accessible and usable once exposed. Like the first connector 120, the second connector 125 may be: a USB plug, micro USB plug, mini USB plug, 30-pin plug, Lightning® plug, laptop plug, or the like, so long as the second connector 125 may be used to connect to the mobile electronic device to provide power. Additionally, the second connector 125 may differ than the first connector 120, such that a single external battery pack may allow the user to charge two different types of phones. For example, the first connector 120 may be configured for smart phones such as an iPhone® while the second connector 125 may be configured for an Android® based phone. Although FIG. 4 shows an external battery pack with two different possible connectors, it should be understood that the external battery pack may comprise a single connector or multiple connectors such as three, four, or many more.

[0048] The mobile electronic device may be connected to the first connector 120 or second connector 325, thereby receiving power from the rechargeable battery of the external battery pack 100. In one embodiment, the mobile electronic device may have a substantially flat back, and may sit flush against the upper side of the main body assembly 105, such that the external battery pack 100 cradles or otherwise supports the mobile electronic device. Additionally, the external battery pack 100 may be designed such that when connected to an electronic device, the external battery pack 100 and mobile electronic device is not excessively bulky or cumbersome when connected.

[0049] The charging port 130 may be located on any surface of the external battery pack 100 and may be configured to accept various connectors, including without limitation, micro USB, mini USB, 30-pin connectors, lightning connectors, and the like. For example, a single external battery pack 100 may have one or more charging ports 130 and the charging ports may different to accept the various connectors.

[0050] FIG. 5 is an illustration of a top plan view of one embodiment of an external battery pack and shows two connector subassemblies in a closed configuration. As shown in FIG. 5, the external battery pack 100 may comprise: a main body assembly 105, first connector subassembly 110, second connector subassembly 115, first recess 230, second recess 235, first connector 130, and second connector 135. In this embodiment, when the first connector subassembly 110 is in a closed position as shown more clearly in FIG. 1, the first connector 130 of the first connector subassembly 110 may fit inside the first recess 230 located on the main body assembly 105, to make first connector 130 retracted and not in a connectable position. Similarly, when the second connector subassembly 115 is in a closed position as shown in FIG. 1, the second connector 135 of the second connector subassembly 115 may fit inside the second recess 235 located on the main body assembly 105 to make second connector 135 retracted and not in a connectable position. The retracted or closed position may protect the connector subassemblies. The first recess 230 and second recess 235 may be located on the main body assembly 105, and the first recess 230 and second recess 235 may be configured to receive various types of plugs.

[0051] FIGS. 6a-c is an illustration of three embodiments of the connector subassembly and shows the connector subassembly with different possible connectors. As shown in FIGS. 6a-c, three embodiments of the connector subassembly may include, without limitation, a first connector subassembly 600, second connector subassembly 620, and third connector subassembly 640. [0052] The first connector subassembly 600 may comprise: a first connector 605, first connector subassembly housing 610, and first circuit board assembly 615. The first connector 605 may comprise a plug or connector configured to connect to a mobile electronic device and transfer an electric charge from the external battery pack 100 to the mobile electronic device. As shown in FIG. 6a, the plug or connector in the first connector subassembly 600 may be a micro USB connector. The first circuit board assembly 615 may be a circuit card with one or more electronic components configured to control the transfer an electric charge from a rechargeable battery housed in the main body assembly 105 to the mobile electronic device. The first connector subassembly housing 610 may interconnect the first connector 605 and the first circuit board assembly 615 with the main body assembly 105, shown in FIG. 1.

[0053] The second connector subassembly 620 may comprise: a second connector 625, second connector subassembly housing 630; and second circuit board assembly 635. The second connector 625 may comprise a plug or connector configured to connect to a mobile electronic device and transfer an electric charge from the external battery pack 100 to the mobile electronic device. As shown in FIG. 6b, the plug or connector in the second connector subassembly 620 may be a mini USB connector. The second circuit board assembly 635 may be a circuit card with one or more electronic components configured to transfer an electric charge from a rechargeable battery housed in the main body assembly 105 to a mobile electronic device. The second connector subassembly housing 630 may interconnect the second connector 625 and the second circuit board assembly 635 with the main body assembly 105, shown in FIG. 1.

[0054] The third connector subassembly 640 may comprise: a third connector 645, third connector subassembly housing 650, and a third circuit board assembly 655. The third connector 645 may comprise a plug or connector configured to connect to a mobile electronic device and transfer an electric charge from the external battery pack 100 to the mobile electronic device. As shown in FIG. 6c, the plug or connector in the third connector subassembly 640 may be a Lightning® plug. The third circuit board assembly 655 may be a series of electronic components which are configured to transfer power from a rechargeable battery housed in the main body assembly 105 to a mobile electronic device. The third connector subassembly housing 650 may be configured to interconnect the third connector 645 and the third circuit board assembly 655 with a main body assembly 105, as shown in FIG. 1. [0055] FIG. 7 is an illustration of an end view of one embodiment of the external battery pack and shows a connector subassembly in an open configuration. As shown in FIG. 7, the external battery pack 100 may comprise: a main body assembly 105, connector subassembly 110, one or more contacts 715, and fastener holes 720, 725. When the connector subassembly is in an open configuration, the ends of the main body assembly 105 may be exposed. When an end of the main body assembly 105 is exposed, one or more contacts 715 may be accessible for use for charging an internal battery within the external battery pack 100. Additionally, the contacts 715 may contain a single wire serial bus which may allow for the transmission of diagnostic information or data of the external battery pack 100. The fastener holes 720, 725 may be used to secure the connector subassembly housing to the main body assembly 105 and may utilize screws or other fasteners.

[0056] FIG. 8 is an illustration of one embodiment the return bay. As shown in FIG. 8, the return bay 800 may comprise: a sleeve 805, vend motor 825, pinion shaft 830, kicker 835, slider rack 840, bay printed circuit board (PCB) 845, and light pipe 860. The bay printed circuit board 800 may comprise one or more optical switches, a microcontroller, and a LED controller. The sleeve 805 is generally configured to receive and secure an external battery pack 100, preferably in a trapezoidal prism shape. However, the sleeve 805 may be configured to receive and secure an external battery pack 100 of various shapes without deviating from the scope of this disclosure. The vend motor 825 and pinion shaft 830 may be connected near the distal end of the sleeve 805 and may be configured to actuate the kicker 835 and slider rack 840 to slide the connector subassembly into an open or closed configuration.

[0057] The bay PCB 845 generally comprises the electronics of the return bay (e.g. , microcontroller, optical switches, LED controller), and is generally used to dictate and/or perform various functions. Specifically, the bay PCB 845 may: (1) provide the electronics for activating the indicator lights; (2) control the vend motor 825 to shift the connector subassembly in either the open or closed position; (3) and/or utilize the optical switches to help determine when an external battery pack is present.

[0058] FIG. 9 is an illustration of another embodiment of the return bay and shows the return bay in a locked configuration with a connector subassembly in a closed configuration. As shown in FIG. 9, the return bay 900 may comprises: a vend motor 905, external battery pack 100, sleeve 915, pinion shaft 920, slider rack 925, kicker hinge 935, and kicker 940. FIG. 9 also shows the external battery pack 100 with a connector subassembly 930 in a closed configuration. As shown, the sleeve 915 has received and secured the external battery pack 100, and the connector subassembly 930 is engaged against the slider rack 925. The vend motor 905 and pinion shaft 920 may be configured to actuate the kicker hinge 935 and kicker 940, similar to a gear rack, in order to raise or lower the slider rack 925. For example, when the slider rack 925 is raised, the connector subassembly 930 may slide upwards, thereby moving the connector subassembly 930 in an open configuration and causing the return bay 800, 900 to be in a locked configuration. Conversely, as shown in FIG. 9, when the slider rack 925 is lowered, the connector subassembly 930 may slide downwards, thereby shifting the connector subassembly 930 in a closed configuration and causing the return bay 800, 900 to be in an unlocked configuration.

[0059] In one embodiment, when the slider rack 925 is raised, the kicker hinge 935 and kicker 940 may be raised as well. Due to the curvature of the kicker 940 and the position of the kicker hinge 935, when raised, the kicker 940 may slideably engage the pinion shaft 920, thereby causing the kicker to move towards the external battery pack 100. Additionally, the kicker 940 may comprise various connectors configured to matingly engage with the external battery pack 100. These connectors may comprise wires and cables for providing the external battery pack 100 with power and also for retrieving data and diagnostic data for the external battery pack 100.

[0060] FIG. 10 is an illustration of another embodiment of the return bay and shows the return bay in an unlocked configuration with a connector subassembly in an open configuration. As shown in FIG. 10, the return bay 900 may comprises: a vend motor 905, external battery pack 100, sleeve 915, pinion shaft 920, slider rack 925, kicker hinge 935, and kicker 940. FIG. 10 also shows the external battery pack 100 with a connector subassembly 930 in an open configuration. As discussed above, the vend motor 905 and pinion shaft 920 may be configured to actuate the kicker hinge 935 and kicker 940 to raise or lower the slider rack 925 by utilizing, for example, a gear rack mechanism. For example, as shown in FIG. 10, when the slider rack 925 is raised, the connector subassembly 930 may slide upwards, thereby moving the connector subassembly 930 into an open configuration and causing the return bay 800, 900 to be in a locked configuration. [0061] FIG. 11 is an illustration of one embodiment of a kiosk for the system for charging mobile electronic devices. As shown in FIG. 11, one embodiment of the kiosk 1100 may comprise: a card reader 1105, one or more slots 1110, a touchscreen interface 1120, and an overhead lamp 1115. The kiosk 1100 may be configured to serve as a vending machine for renting the external battery packs. The card reader 1105 may be used to allow a user to provide payment using a credit card or debit card. The touchscreen interface 1120 may allow a user to navigate various options when renting an external battery pack 100 from kiosk 1100, such as the type of mobile electronic device and connector and the length of the rental. The overhead lamp 1115 may provide better lighting conditions for the user to increase visibility of the kiosk and the surrounding area. The slots 1110 may be used to house the external battery packs, and each of the slots generally interfaces a return bay 800, 900 for receiving, charging, and vending, an external battery pack. Each of the slots 1110 may be also comprise a light emitting diode (LED) light for informing the user whether an external battery pack is occupied in that particular return bay 800, 900 or slot. Although FIG. 11 shows a kiosk with thirty slots, it should be understood that any number of slots may be used without deviating from the scope of the disclosure.

[0062] In one embodiment of the kiosk 1100, when a user returns a rented external battery pack 100, for example, the slot 1110, kiosk 1100, and/or return bay 800, 900 may perform a test to obtain diagnostic information to determine whether the external battery pack 100 was successfully returned by the user. Such diagnostic information may also provide useful information as to the condition of the external battery pack 100.

[0063] As stated above, each slot may comprise an LED light illuminated around the slot 1110 and may indicate a different status of the slot 1110. For example, in one embodiment, when an external battery pack 100 is charged and ready for vending, the LED surrounding the slot 1110 may flicker or flash a green illumination around the slot. Additionally, when an external battery pack 100 is occupying a return bay 800, 900 but is not fully charged, the LED light may flicker or flash a purple colored light. On the other hand, when an external battery pack 100 is not present in a slot, the LED light may illuminate a different light or may not illuminate at all. In an embodiment, an LED light may be illuminated in or around the slot 1110 to indicate that a return of the external battery pack 100 has been completed successfully. Additionally, various colors, illumination, and methods may also be used in conjunction with the LED light to provide different information to the user. Other methods of signaling to the user about an occupied return bay, for example, may include the use of sound alerts and touchscreen.

[0064] In a preferred embodiment, when a user returns an external battery pack 100 to an empty slot 1110, the return bay 800, 900 in that slot 1110 may actuate the connector subassembly 110, 115, 930 of the external battery pack 100 to mechanically engage and convert the connector subassembly 110, 115, 930 into an open configuration and the return bay 800, 900 into a locked configuration. This in turn may lock the external battery pack 100 into the slot 1110 and prevent the kiosk 1100 from vending that external battery pack 100 to the user until after the external battery pack 100 is fully recharged.

[0065] When the kiosk 1100 receives a command indicating that an external battery pack 100 is to be released or vended, the kiosk 1100 and/or return bay 800, 900 may actuate connector subassembly 110, 115, 930 into a closed configuration and the return bay 800, 900 into an unlocked configuration, thereby allowing the user to remove the external battery pack 100 from the return bay 800, 900, slot 1110, and/or kiosk 1100.

[0066] In another embodiment, the kiosk 1100 may have the capability to transmit electrical and wireless signals to connect to the Internet and cellular networks. This would generally allow the kiosk to transmit information through a network to a centralized location. The centralized location may comprise one or more servers and may be used to collect diagnostic information regarding the kiosk 1100, external battery pack 100 returned to the kiosk 1100, and problems with the kiosk 1100, so that repairs may be used.

[0067] In another embodiment, a kiosk 1100 may have solar panels, which may be used as an alternative form of power for the kiosk and external battery packs. Specifically, the kiosk 1100 may utilize the solar panels to power the kiosk 1100 rather than a standard alternating current (AC) outlet. Thus, the solar panels may provide an alternative power source for the user to power the battery chargers.

[0068] In various embodiments, multiple kiosks 1100 may be networked, and a user renting an external battery pack 100 need not return the external battery pack 100 to the same kiosk 1100. Specifically, a user may rent an external battery pack from Kiosk A and, after traveling to another location where Kiosk B exists, the user may then return that external battery pack to Kiosk B. Using its network, Kiosk B may then notify Kiosk A and other kiosks in the network that the external battery pack has been returned by the user.

[0069] FIG. 12 is an illustration of another embodiment of the kiosk. As shown in FIG. 12, the kiosk 1200 may comprise: one or more slots 1205, power cable 1210, computer system 1215 and a second cable 1220. Like the slots 1110 in FIG. 11, the slots 1205 in this embodiment may comprise of at least one return bay 800, 900 and may be configured to receive an external battery pack 100. In this embodiment, there may be eight slots 1105, each of which may be used to house and store an external battery pack 100. The power cable 1210 may be used to transfer power to the kiosk 1200. Other cables, however, may also be used for performing other functions such as sending command signals to eject an external battery pack 100 or to send diagnostic information of the kiosk 1200 for the external battery pack 100.

[0070] The kiosk 1200 may also interface with a computer system 1215 via a second cable 1220. The computer system 1215 may provide users with various options when facilitating the rental of an external battery pack. In one embodiment, the computer system 1215, for example, may be a tablet computer with one or more program applications configured to operate the kiosk 1200. Specifically, the tablet computer may: (1) display the cost of renting the external battery pack 100; (2) provide users with options regarding the type of connectors the user requires; and (3) select their desired configurations by simply touching the appropriate item in the tablet. The second cable 1220 may be a simple USB cable. The computer system 1215 may collect diagnostic information transmitted from the external battery pack 100 to the kiosk 1200 and then wirelessly transmit this information to an external server thereafter for monitoring.

[0071] In an alternative embodiment, the computer system 1215 may also function as a jukebox or vending machine. Specifically, many public locations may utilize the kiosk 1200 by utilizing the touchscreen display and existing connection to the Internet.

[0072] FIG. 13 is a block diagram of one embodiment of the return bay. As shown in FIG. 13, the one embodiment of the return bay may comprise: a printed circuit board 1301, power source 1305, external battery pack single-wire input 1315, Tx/Rx signal 1320, LED signal line 1325, external battery pack connector 1330, 5V signal line 1335, pack single-wire signal line 1340, ground signal line 1345, LED diode 1350, LED driver 1355, first sensor 1360, second sensor 1365, third sensor 1370, microcontroller 1375, motor controller 1380, and motor 1385. The circuit board 1301 may act as a conduit for connecting the various electronic components and may be powered by the power source 1305, thereby providing the other electronics with electrical power. The power source 1305 may obtain its power from a direct AC power line or from the kiosk 1200. The external battery pack single-wire input 1315 may send information to the kiosk 1200 about the status of the external battery pack 100. The Tx/Rx signal 1320 may send and receive transmission information between the kiosk 1200 and the computer system or outside source. The LED signal line 1325 may send return bay status information to the kiosk 1200 and may inform the kiosk when an external battery pack 100 is present inside the sleeve of the return bay.

[0073] The pack connector 1330 may be an interface for the external battery pack 100. The pack connector 1330 may comprise: a 5V signal line 1335, a single-wire signal line 1340, and ground signal line 1345. The 5V signal 1335 may be used to transfer a positive electrical charge to the external battery pack 100 from the power source 1305. The single- wire signal line 1340 may be configured to transmit diagnostic information of the external battery pack 100 to the external battery pack single-wire input 1315, which may then transmit the information to the kiosk 1200. Some of the information transmitted from the external battery pack 100 via the single- wire signal line may include the charge level of the external battery pack 100. The ground signal line 1345 may configured to ground the electrical charge in the external battery pack 100 when charging.

[0074] The LED signal line 1325 may relay commands from the kiosk 1200 to the LED driver 1355, which may then activate the LED diode 1350. Thus, the LED diode 1350 may then be used to indicate the availability of a specific slot of a kiosk 1200. For example, a first color such as green may be displayed by the LED diode 1350 to indicate that the external battery pack is available for renting. Another color such as red may be used to indicate that no external battery pack 100 is available in that particular slot. Additionally, other colors may be used to indicate that the external battery pack 100 in the slot is not available for rental and that the slot is available to receive an external battery pack 100.

[0075] The first sensor 1360, second sensor 1365, and third sensor 1370 may be used to identify whether an external battery pack is inserted and present in the return bay 800, 900. When the first sensor 1360, second sensor 1365, or third sensor 1370 detect an external battery pack 100, a signal may be sent to the microcontroller 1375 to indicate that an external battery pack is present in the return bay 800, 900. The first sensor 1360, second sensor 1365, and third sensor 1370 may also be configured to monitor how deep the external battery pack is inserted in the return bay 800, 900 by placing the sensors at various locations in the sleeve of the return bay 800, 900. When the microcontroller 1375 receives data indicating that the external battery pack 100 is fully inserted into the return bay 800, 900, the microcontroller 1375 may then send a signal to the motor controller 1380 to actuate the sliding rack. This, in turn, will help move the connector subassembly into the open or closed configurations. Additionally, this may help switch the return bay 800, 900 to become either in a locked and unlocked configurations.

[0076] Additionally, the kiosk 1200 may be configured to obtain signals from a computer system and send those signals through the Tx / Rx 1320 to the microcontroller 1375. This may allow a user to actuate the motor to release an external battery pack 100 when vending a unit for rental. Thus, the return bay may actuate the motor 1385 to change the return bay from a locked configuration to an unlocked configuration, thereby allowing a user to release the external battery pack 100.

[0077] While the foregoing written description of the invention enables one of ordinary skill to make and use what is considered presently to be the best mode thereof, those of ordinary skill will understand and appreciate the existence of variations, combinations, and equivalents of the specific embodiment, method, and examples herein. The invention should therefore not be limited by the above described embodiment, method, and examples, but by all embodiments and methods within the scope and spirit of the invention as claimed.

[0078] The foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the above detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments of the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modifications in various obvious aspects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the detailed description is to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive. Also, although not explicitly recited, one or more embodiments of the invention may be practiced in combination or conjunction with one another. Furthermore, the reference or non- reference to a particular embodiment of the invention shall not be interpreted to limit the scope the invention. It is intended that the scope of the invention not be limited by this detailed description, but by the claims and the equivalents to the claims that are appended hereto.

[0079] Except as stated immediately above, nothing which has been stated or illustrated is intended or should be interpreted to cause a dedication of any component, step, feature, object, benefit, advantage, or equivalent to the public, regardless of whether it is or is not recited in the claims.

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. An external battery pack for charging a mobile electronic device, comprising:
a main body assembly;
at least one connector subassembly;
a rechargeable battery;
one or more connectors; and
one or more contacts;
wherein said main body assembly houses said rechargeable battery;
wherein said at least one connector subassembly comprise said one or more connectors; wherein said at least one connector subassembly is connected to said main body assembly, such that said one or more connectors are electrically connected to said rechargeable battery;
wherein said one or more contacts are electrically connected to said rechargeable battery and are configured to receive power from a power source; and
wherein said one or more connectors are configured to matingly engage with a corresponding connector of a mobile electronic device, such that, when said one or more connectors of said rechargeable battery pack engages with said corresponding connector of said mobile electronic device, said rechargeable battery pack provides power to said mobile electronic device.
2. The external battery pack of Claim 1, wherein said at least one connector subassembly is slideably connected to said main body assembly, such that, when said at least one connector subassembly slides away from said main body assembly, said at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration, and, when said at least one connector subassembly slides towards said main body assembly, said external battery pack is in a closed configuration.
3. The external battery pack of Claim 2, wherein said open configuration of said at least one connector subassembly exposes said one or more connectors, such that when said at least one connector subassembly slide outwards, said one or more connectors are accessible and when said at least one connector subassembly slide inwards said one or more connectors are retracted and not in a connectable position.
4. The external battery pack of Claim 3, wherein said open configuration of said at least one connector subassembly is configured to allow said at least one connector subassembly and said main body assembly in combination to cradle said mobile electronic device when said one or more connectors matingly engage with said corresponding connector of said mobile electronic device.
5. The external battery pack of Claim 1, wherein said one or more contacts are located on said main body assembly; and
wherein said one or more contacts are concealable, such that said one or more contacts are accessible when said at least one connector subassembly is in said open configuration and said one or more contacts are inaccessible when said external battery pack is in said closed configuration.
6. The external battery pack of Claim 5, wherein said one or more contacts are further configured to transmit a diagnostic information to a computer system.
7. The external battery pack of Claim 1, wherein said external battery pack is configured to be vended from an automatic vending machine.
8. The external battery pack of Claim 7, wherein said automatic vending machine charges and vends said external battery pack.
9. A return bay of a vending machine for receiving, charging, and vending an external battery pack, comprising:
a sleeve;
a sliding rack;
a pinion shaft; and
a motor;
wherein said sleeve is configured to receive an external battery pack;
wherein said external battery pack comprises: a main body assembly and at least one connector subassembly;
wherein said at least one connector subassembly is slideably connected to said main body assembly, such that, when said at least one connector subassembly slides away from said main body assembly, said at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration, and, when said at least one connector subassembly slides towards said main body assembly, said external battery pack is in a closed configuration;
wherein said sliding rack is positioned at an end of said sleeve and is configured to slide said at least one connector subassembly away from said main body assembly; wherein said motor and said pinion shaft are configured to actuate said sliding of said sliding rack, such that, when said motor actuates said sliding rack to slide said at least one connector subassembly away from said main body assembly, said at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration and said return bay is in a locked configuration; and
wherein said locked configuration prevents a user from removing said external battery pack from said return bay.
10. The return bay of Claim 9, wherein said motor and said pinion shaft are configured to actuate said sliding of said sliding rack, such that, when said motor actuates said sliding rack to slide said at least one connector subassembly towards said main body assembly, said external battery pack is in a closed configuration and said return bay is in an unlocked configuration; and
wherein said unlocked configuration allows a user to remove said external battery pack from said return bay.
11. The return bay of Claim 10, further comprising one or more sensors;
wherein said one or more sensors are configured to detect when said sleeve receives said external battery pack.
12. The return bay of Claim 11, wherein said external battery pack further comprises:
a rechargeable battery; and
one or more contacts;
wherein said one or more contacts are electrically connected to said rechargeable battery and are configured to receive a power from a power source;
wherein said one or more contacts are inaccessible unless said at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration; and wherein said contacts are configured to receive said power from said power source via said one or more contacts when said return bay is in said locked configuration.
13. A system for receiving, charging, and vending mobile electronic devices, comprising: a kiosk;
a power source; and
a computer system;
wherein said kiosk comprises: at least one slot and at least one return bay;
wherein said at least one slot corresponds with said at least one return bay and is configured to receive an external battery pack;
wherein said power source is electrically connected to said kiosk and recharges said external battery pack when said external battery pack is inserted into said at least one slot; and
wherein said computer system monitors said at least one slot, said at least one return bay, and said external battery pack.
14. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 13, wherein said at least one return bay of said kiosk comprises:
a sleeve;
a sliding rack;
a pinion shaft; and
a motor;
wherein said sleeve is configured to receive said external battery pack;
wherein said external battery pack comprises: a main body assembly and at least one connector subassembly;
wherein said at least one connector subassembly is slideably connected to said main body assembly, such that, when said at least one connector subassembly slides away from said main body assembly, said at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration, and, when said at least one connector subassembly slides towards said main body assembly, said external battery pack is in a closed configuration; wherein said sliding rack is positioned at an end of said sleeve and is configured to slide said at least one connector subassembly away from said main body assembly; wherein said motor and said pinion shaft are configured to actuate said sliding of said sliding rack, such that, when said motor actuates said sliding rack to slide said at least one connector subassembly away from said main body assembly, said at least one connector subassembly is in an open configuration and said return bay is in a locked configuration; and
wherein said locked configuration prevents a user from removing said external battery pack from said return bay of said kiosk.
15. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 14, wherein said power source of said kiosk charges said external battery pack when said return bay is in said locked configuration.
16. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 15, wherein said kiosk obtains a diagnostic information from said external battery pack when said return bay is in said locked configuration.
17. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 16, wherein said computer system utilizes said diagnostic information of said external battery pack to monitor said charging and vending of said external battery pack.
18. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 17, wherein said at least one slot further comprises a light indicator;
wherein said light indicator activates when said external battery pack is fully charged and read to vend.
19. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 18, wherein said power source is a solar panel.
20. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 18, wherein said computer system comprises a touch screen;
wherein said touch screen allows said user to interact with said kiosk and displays information to said user.
21. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 18, wherein said kiosk further comprises a credit card reader.
22. The system of charging mobile electronic devices of Claim 15, wherein said charging of said external battery pack is performed by inductive charging by said power source of said kiosk.

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH05122315A (en) * 1991-10-30 1993-05-18 Fujitsu Ltd Charger structure for portable telephone set
EP0773519A2 (en) * 1995-11-13 1997-05-14 KN Technos Co., Ltd. Vending machine for charging a secondary battery of a mobile phone
JPH11215720A (en) * 1998-01-27 1999-08-06 Matsushita Electric Works Ltd Charger
KR200359063Y1 (en) * 2004-05-19 2004-08-16
US20060071641A1 (en) * 2004-09-30 2006-04-06 Ward Grahame P Collapsible battery charger

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