Good thing the staff at PCWorld have no understanding of electronics
You certainly CAN boost voltage, and doing that in 0.1mm of product is a damend neat trick. But when you boost voltage, you lose amperage. Same rules of physics that allow an MPPT
controller to trade
off voltage versus amperage. No magic there.
Now, let's say the "device" you want to power is a handheld VHF
. Or a Steripen water
sterilizer. Or a simple ultra-bright LED flashlight.
They all require both voltage AND amperage, and in fact, you can't power any of them with lithium (primary) cells because there's plenty of voltage--but they don't work with those lithium cells, because there's not enough current
(amperage) regardless of the voltage. Yes the manufacturers all say "use alkaline...not NiCad, not NiMh, not lithium" for that un-obvious reason.
This gadgets biggest market niche would appear to be taking rechargeable cells, which start out too low at 1.25v, and boosting them up enough so they can work--until the juice runs out anyway, as it will.
Be great for "plain" flashlights, that don't need a lot of power for high brightness bulbs, as diving
lights and "super" LED lights
But I don't think Thumper is going to be quaking in his slippers over this one.