Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Access to electricity with kinetic energy

1.6 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity. This limits them in many ways to improve their living standard and causes dangerous problems. Children cannot study in the dark, people have to walk very long ways to charge their cellphones that they need for business, and kerosene that is being used to make fire is expensive and can cause damage to skin and lungs.

The team "Light up Africa" of the Northern Illinois University took part in the DELL social innovation challenge and developed the "Zoom Box" in order to give people clean, reliable and affordable access to electricity and to light up their homes. This device can generate electrical energy through kinetic motion created for example from walking and cycling. It stores the electricity within the Zoom Box so that it can be used to power personal electronic devices like a mobile phone or to get safe electric light. Apart from kinetic energy it also works with solar, wind and water energy. The Zoom Box is portable, durable and has a simple design with the least moving parts possible to prevent repair costs.

This link shows a video of the idea of the Zoom Box:


The Zoom Box could help African families to save a lot of money and to improve their living standard without changing their lifestyle. Additionally it could be also used for business purposes, as one of the creators stated: A Taxi driver could sell mobile phone charging to customers.

In my opinion, the Zoom Box is a great innovation because it can really make a difference to people who are not connected to an electricity grid. And the best thing is that they don’t even have to do something for it. They just use what they produce everyday – their kinetic energy. They can continue their usual lifestyle but
gain time, money, safety and
better living quality.

For further information about this project please have a look here:




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Tags: LEARN3

Comment by Juanjuan Yin on May 13, 2012 at 4:22pm

I also decided to take a look at the DSIC for the mission :) Very interesting stories and ideas!

Comment by Natalie Pruemmer on May 14, 2012 at 11:11am

Yes, that's true. The ideas are very inspiring!


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