Local inventor's new device could help keep up communication during emergencies

Device attaches to power tool battery to charge

SAN DIEGO - One San Diego man's passion project could help you power up a lifeline in an emergency.

Lam Pham, a UC San Diego graduate and his new startup company PowerzALL, just launched online on Kickstarter.com.

When the flames are raging or when an earthquake has sent the ground moving, the first casualty is sometimes power lines and your power supply.

"When the power goes out, as it does in those circumstances, you want to be able to confirm your family's OK and call in for help," said Kortney Oliver, the public relations director for PowerzALL.

Pham, a computer scientist, spent two years developing a power adapter which can attach to any power tool battery – transferring the power and adapting it to become a mobile charger – for mobile devices.

Once the adapter is in place, you can charge your cellphone up to 10 times. It charges as fast or faster than a wall charger. It can also charge an iPad and anything with a USB port.

Pham's motivational juice for the adapter came from watching wrenching images of desperate evacuees from disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.

"I was heartbroken," said Pham. "The people were in such a desperate situation, and I knew I could help them."

His motivation has also fueled a business venture. After finishing as a runner-up in a high-profile local entrepreneurial contest, Pham just launched his company on Kickstarter.com.

The goal is to raise $60,000 in 30 days. Anyone contributing $39 or more will get a mobile charger.

If successful, the campaign could attract larger investors.

Click here to see the Kickstarter campaign (mobile users: http://kck.st/1auY9VZ).

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