Last year a portable solar LED lamp called the WakaWaka Light – a winner of four Accenture Innovation awards in 2012 – was successfully crowd-funded. Now, its makers are launching a follow-up device that can fully recharge a phone or fuel your tablet for an extra couple of hours on a single day's charge.
The WakaWaka Power has been redesigned in collaboration with a team of engineers at chip-manufacturer Intivation to be both thinner and lighter than the WakaWaka Light – Intivation's power management technology is used in more than 90 percent of the solar powered mobile phones in the world.
Up to 23 percent of the sun's energy is collected by the unit's Sunpower Solar Cell, which differs from standard cells by positioning the metallic grid on the back, allowing more light to be absorbed up front. In addition, the LED lamp provides up to 40 hours of reading light on a single day's charge (10 hours if you charge your phone), and the 2200 mAH LiPo battery will store a charge for up to four months.
You charge your iPhone5, BlackBerry, or Samsung devices from the unit via USB.
The WakaWaka Power has already reached more than 50 percent of its crowd-funding goals in its first day, and the company is sweetening the deal with some refreshing social activism. For every unit pre-sold, the company will donate one of last year's lamp-only models to families in Haiti who live without power. This follows the company's previous effort, which donated 800 lamps to students in Kenya.
According to WakaWaka's founder Camille van Gestel, an average of 16,000 people are injured every day by kerosene torches, the fuel for which also costs them up to 20 percent of their daily income. The WakaWaka Light can provide enough light on a single day's charge to last them several nights, and reports have shown students with solar lamps perform better than those who rely on kerosene torches.
The company expects to price the retail version of the WakaWaka Power at US$79 starting in May. You can watch the Kickstarter pitch video below.