Sony demo hybrid fuel-cell concepts

Sony has been demonstrating a number of fuel-cell concepts, ranging from portable power units to rechargers and even home speaker systems that have their own methanol power-source.  Of most interest are the two devices seen here, which may look like retro radios but in fact combine a rechargeable Li-Ion battery with a methanol fuel-cell.

A USB port allows you to recharge your phone, PMP or other device from the fuel-cell, with it automatically switching between using just the methanol or both that and the Li-Ion pack depending on the power requirements.  Excess power from the fuel-cell component is stored in the Li-Ion battery.

Meanwhile the larger, home charging unit (which looks a little like a set of kitchen scales) has two USB ports but works on pretty much the same principle.  Sony also demonstrated some cordless home stereo speakers, the hybrid fuel-cell component of which could apparently keep them powered for a year from a single refuel.

[via Gizmodo]