Arts / Crowdfunding / Funding

Inventor Marvin Weinberger is Kickstarting his new survival tool

The LIFESABER, currently available for preorder on the crowdfunding site, can restart a dead phone, but also act as a flashlight, emergency alarm or even fire starter with certain accessories.

The LIFESABER tool. (Photo courtesy of Marvin Weinberger)

Marvin Weinberger, long involved in Philly’s tech and entrepreneurial community as a founder/creator/inventor, just launched a Kickstarter campaign for his most recent project: a survival tool called the LIFESABER.

You might know Weinberger as the leader of the now-closed coworking and creating space Venturef0rth, or as the founder of the commerce company American Certified, or as cofounder of the legendary Philly tech company Infonautics with a young Josh Kopelman.

But recently he’s been working on another survival tool, following the launch of the “Lil Trucker,” a pocket-sized all-purpose tool, a few years ago.

Wednesday, Weinberger announced the creation of another tool, a limitless power supply for which he launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign. Two days in, and he’s already raised more than half of his $30,000 goal for the LIFESABER.

The tool’s main purpose is to be able to bring a dead cell phone back to life, Weinberger said, explaining that a phone is a camper’s connection to the world if something should go wrong.

Along with being a power source, the tool also serves as a flashlight/lantern, strobe light and emergency siren. With accessories, it can also start fires and purify water.

“The genesis is to have a tool that would let you restart your phone in an emergency,” Weinberger said. “But with accessories, it’ll allow you to do a lot more.”

The team tasked with marketing the product created a short film, shot in Iceland, showing the ways in which the tool can be used. It’s charged by a swinging or cranking motion.

The battery is recharged within about 15 minutes if the user swings it, and just a few minutes if the resistance is upped and it is hand cranked. The charging method was inspired by the act of jump roping — the crank follows the same motion.

Weinberger has worked on the tool for about three years at his home workshop in Havertown, he said. Although the device is marketed to outdoorsy types, he’s heard that city folks are interested in having them in bug-out bags or in their cars for emergencies.

Weinberger shared the news of his Kickstarter and new product to his newsletter Wednesday, and early Thursday, had gotten pledges from more than 180 backers.

“We must have done something right,” he said.

Preorders for the LIFESABER start at $49 for the basic tool and go up with additional accessories. Weinberger said he believes they will ship about a year from now.


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