And now for something completely different: Start a fire inside the Biolite CampStove, and a thermoelectric generator will convert the heat into electricity. That electricity is technically used to power a fan in order to intensify the heat generated by burning sticks, wood pellets, or whatever biomass you stuff into the stove, but the extra electricity that’s generated is routed to a USB port that you can use to charge mobile devices.
The Biolite isn’t exactly practical: The stove charges devices only when there’s enough heat being generated. And it's less than efficient, taking several hours to charge a phone—likely more time than you’ll spend cooking, to say nothing of the large amount of twigs you’ll need.
Still, it’s part of a good cause: Biolite is using its technology in a larger version—the HomeStove—for use in developing countries.