Monday, July 27, 2009

Bicyling to Power Cell Phones in Kenya

Jeremiah Murimi and Pascal Katana, two university students in Kenya, developed a device to charge mobile phones through bicycling. Their “smart-charger” is ideal for people in rural areas, where people would normally have to travel long distances to charge their phones at a cost of around $2 per charge. With the new device, it would take an hour of pedaling to recharge an average cell phone.

The device would be very beneficial, seeing as an estimated 17.5 million people in Kenya own a mobile phone. It is also easy to use since bicycles in Kenya are already sold with dynamos attached to the back wheel to power a light on a bicycle. This enables the “smart-charger” to be easily connected to the power being generated from pedaling.

At current costs, the device is priced at $4.50. There are also non-profits working in the region that want to test the product in rural areas and distribute the device more widely.