While Retina displays, Snapdragon processors and multi-megapixel sensors usually get all the hype and attention, they are nothing more than useless fragments of semi-rare metal without a power supply — hence, backup batteries are pretty useful to own. We’ve covered many before here on The Gadget Flow (like the tiny Urge Power Stick and Mophie Juice Pack), but a new product called BatteryBox has seriously caught my eye, and not just because of its vibrant turquoise case.

This compact beauty, which is now available for pre-order (also crowdfunding on Wefunder), weighs less than 9 ounces and is barely bigger than a phone, but inside has a capacity of 12,000mAh. In human speak, that means it can hold enough juice to completely refill a Macbook Air, an iPad Retina, or an iPhone eight times over. Helpfully, it has an integrated Magsafe2 cable, and you can charge pretty much any USB device via the in-built port, too (soon to be very useful for Android Wear owners).

The clever new BatteryBox portable battery

But the really outstanding feature of BatteryBox is the way it actively manages the power it outputs. Rather than develop any new kind of cell, the folks behind BatteryBox have created an entire OS to optimize the flow of energy while the pack is charging, idling and discharging.

The claimed results are impressive — the company says that b.OS improves the amount of charge a battery can store by up to 40%, and they say it can also increase a battery’s cycle count fourfold. The result is that the BatteryBox should last 3000 full charge/discharge cycles, and still retain 96% of its capacity after five years.

Of course, we will have to wait until later this year (when pre-orders will ship) to get some kind of real-world verification on these figures. But if they turn out to be anything like the real deal, then this is going to be one impressive tech accessory.

Meet Mark Myerson

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.