Most of us cherish our smartphones — those razor-thin, space-age gadgets that allow us to perform a near-infinite array of tasks from the palm of our hand.
Yet these same devices can get pretty heated, especially as they’re being charged. All this heat can take its toll on your smart gadget, permanently damaging its lithium-ion batteries and significantly wearing down its lifespan.
To help combat this problem, Chevrolet has announced it will introduce a smartphone air conditioner that will keep phones cool while being charged on the road.
According to a July 2 Gizmodo article, Chevy will outfit its 2016 Malibu, Volt, Cruze, Impala and other vehicles with Active Phone Cooling technology. This feature consists of an air conditioning vent that will pipe cool air directly onto a charging smartphone as it sits on a wireless charging tray below the dashboard.
While the smartphone air conditioner can only be used when the passengers’ air conditioning is turned on, it’s unlikely that a smartphone will overheat if passengers are comfortable enough to keep the AC turned off.
PC World reports that Chevy came up with the idea for Active Phone Cooling while testing its vehicles in extreme heat. When testing the wireless smartphone charging feature, engineers found that smartphones would often stop charging or shut off altogether when exposed to high temperatures for even a few minutes.
So far, Chevy is the only automaker to offer such a feature.
“Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel,” Impala engineer Dan Lascu said in a statement. “Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem.”
Unlike traditional air conditioners, which can lose up to 30% of their system efficiency with improper installation, these smartphone air conditioners will always be properly installed. Chevy says it plans on performing these tiny air conditioning installations in the factory.
While having an air conditioner designed especially for your smartphone might seem like a bit of overkill, there’s no denying that it’s essential to keep your tiny investment functioning at its optimal level for as long as you can.