Safely charge your mobile device while blocking data syncing and “juice jacking”

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You’ve got a full day of travel ahead of you, and your phone is beeping to let you know its battery is nearly dead.  You start looking around the airport terminal for a charging station to give the battery a shot of power while you’re waiting to board the plane.  Have you heard the warnings that you shouldn’t use those public charging stations, because they can open your phone or table to having malware downloaded or to having your personal data synched – without your permission?  With the Umbrella USB dongle from SparqEE on the end of your charging cable, you won’t have to worry about either of those scenarios playing out.  This current Kickstarter project promises to protect your data and device because it physically disconnects the data connections, allowing only power to flow through your cable to  your device.  The Umbrella USB requires no apps and no setup procedures to work.  It works with Windows, Android, and Apple devices.  You simply plug it onto your charging cable, and you can charge your device from any public charging station secure that you device won’t be picking up anything but power.  The funding period for the Umbrella USB continues through Thursday, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:01 PM EDT.  A minimum pledge of $12 is required to receive an Umbrella USB.  If successfully funded, shipping is expected in October, 2014.

Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Gear, News

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Allen June 8, 2014, 3:18 pm

    This is a great idea. That is why I bought the equivalent from Amazon in January for $8
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FA9GXKM/ref=oh_details_o07_s01_i00

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  • Rob Tillotson June 8, 2014, 5:07 pm

    Yep. And you can get them even cheaper than that if you don’t mind it being an add-on item (where you need a >$25 total order to get Prime shipping). They’ve been available for at least a couple of years because that’s when I got one to charge my PS Vita without using the official adapter…

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  • SparqEE June 13, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Thanks for pointing out competitor products but please do keep in mind that these products are not the same, actually. The one in the link simulates a 1A charger which is too much for most USB ports, so use it with caution…

    I’ve fried several USB ports before trying various things and we designed the UmbrellaUSB so that wouldn’t happen.

    -Chris

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