Power Management
Mobile Devices

Reactor for iPhone 5

An iPhone 5 case with a built-in crank generator for battery charging.

$75,763 raised

of $350,000 goal

22% Funded Campaign Suspended
May 03 2013

Recent Updates

You'll be notified about news and stock updates for this project.

Reactor for iPhone 5, the first integrated generator and battery case ever created

The Reactor utilizes a patent-pending ultra-thin generator to enable users to manually charge the battery of their iPhone 5 when wall outlets are unavailable. The Reactor is designed to provide an all-important power boost when critical data must be retrieved or essential communication becomes necessary.

Reactor is a breakthrough product that millions of mobile-device dependent users around the world can embrace. A dead smartphone battery at a critical moment is a problem that almost every smartphone user has experienced at some point. Since the Reactor is embedded into the phone’s case, there’s never a circumstance where the phone is without power. A small built in battery provides enough of a boost to revive a dead phone while manually cranking the generator can extend the battery life of the iPhone indefinitely.

Premiums & Pledge Levels

Good Luck with That! ($5)

Thank you for your support as we strive to make the Reactor a reality.

Early Bird Reactor ($99)

You will receive one Gridcase Reactor from the first batch to hit the market. Limited to the first 10,000 backers.

Gridcase Reactor ($129)

For those of you that missed the early bird premium, we still have a Reactor for you. You will receive one Gridcase Reactor at this pledge level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much cranking is required to charge the phone?

Reactor contains a small built-in battery (with a capacity of about 15% to 20% that of the iPhone’s) that gets charged when you charge your iPhone through the Reactor’s USB connector. When you start to crank Reactor’s handle, its internal battery begins charging the iPhone immediately at the same rate as the wall power plug (supplying 1A of charge current).

From that point on, the action of cranking the Reactor will charge its internal battery and the iPhone. If you only crank a little, you won’t add much life to the boost you get from the internal battery. For every minute you crank Reactor’s handle, you will add about 5 minutes of talk or text time to the iPhone.

Will you create Reactors for other phones?

Yes. We intend to create a full product line and plan to crowdfund a Reactor for Samsung Galaxy in the near future. We are also considering other models of iPhone.

Will Reactor be available outside the US?

Yes. We will select distributors outside the US to sell Reactor in Europe and Asia as we get closer to general availability.

Product Specifications

Manufacturing Plan

Reactor was first prototyped in January 2013 and was able to successfully demonstrate its ability to charge an iPhone in February. We are working on a second-generation prototype as well as design changes to improve the efficiency and ergonomics of the hand crank generator.

We have created renderings which we believe will fit the current electronic and mechanical elements, but we are continuing to look at different handle configurations and industrial design options.

We expect to have a design that has been finalized by mid-May and released to manufacturing by the end of June. We expect about three months of manufacturing lead time plus four weeks of transit which results in shipments to the first backers by mid-November 2013.


Shipping is free within the US and Canada. For international shipping options, e-mail us your location and the pledge level you are interested in.

Risks and Challenges

Significant risks remain in the Reactor development due to its small size and complexity. Each subsystem (generator, charging electronics, folding handle, internal battery, external case) needs to undergo refinement and design for manufacturing. We expect to be able to overcome all of the obstacles with the budget available to us from the crowdfunding campaign, but if any one subsystem presents an unexpectedly large hurdle, we may not be able to meet our schedule or in the worst case scenario, deliver the Reactor at all.

At the present time, we are expecting that we can obtain Apple MFi (Made For iPhone) certification and manufacture Reactor at an Apple-approved facility. We were accepted into the MFi program in January 2013 and believe we have designed our charging circuitry to meet the necessary requirements. However, Reactor uses rare-earth magnets that are shielded from the iPhone to reduce interference, but it is possible that MFi certification may present unexpected obstacles. In that event, we would likely proceed forward with manufacturing, but at a non-Apple approved facility. That change in manufacturing strategy would likely introduce a delay in the production schedule of up to three months.

We have created 3D renderings of what we expect Reactor will look like in its final form, but we have not yet built a physical prototype of this design. As a result, we may have to make design changes when we test the physical prototype and that will likely affect the look and feel of the finished units. The types of changes we may need to make include both the handle and case materials and cosmetic design.

We have filed for worldwide patent protection on the unique features of the Reactor including the integration of a thin generator into a smartphone case. We have not yet completed a thorough patent search to determine whether Reactor violates anyone else’s patent and if we received notice of such violation and could not obtain a license under terms that were favorable, might be unable to deliver units to backers.

Reactor will require agency certifications including the FCC. We have budgeted the time and cost of obtaining such certifications but in the event that design problems are uncovered at that time, the delivery schedule could be impacted.

In the Press

Business Insider

Business Insider

"How To Charge Your iPhone By Turning A Crank"

Dr. Jay's

Dr. Jay's

"This Case Lets You Charge Your iPhone By Hand"

Geeky Gadgets

"Reactor iPhone 5 Case Lets You Handcrank Your Battery Back To Life"

Techcrunch Logo


"Gridcase’s Reactor Is A $149 iPhone 5 Case With A Battery-Boosting Built In Hand-Crank (Or It Will Be If It Gets Crowdfunded)"

Engadget Logo


"Insert Coin: Gridcase's Reactor lets you manually resuscitate your iPhone 5"

Desire This

Desire This

"Reactor: First Integrated Phone Generator and Battery Case"

Ask a Question

Produced by Gridcase in Portland, OR.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

Good Luck with That!


Early Bird Reactor

$99 $8 US Shipping / Not Available Outside US

Gridcase Reactor

$129 $8 US Shipping / Not Available Outside US

About the Team


Portland, OR  ·

Based in Portland, OR. Gridcase is the developer of the patent-pending Reactor for iPhone, a smartphone case with an integrated generator.

Mathew Laibowitz

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