- The technology behind the wind-up radio could soon be helping to light up some of the poorest homes in Africa.
The Freeplay Foundation is developing prototypes of a charging station for house lights it hopes will improve the quality of life for many Africans.
The Foundation said the lights would replace the expensive, polluting and unhealthy alternatives many Africans currently use to light their homes.
Field testing of the prototypes will start in Kenya in the next few months.
Light and life
Kristine Pearson, director of the Freeplay Foundation, said few Africans in the continents most vulnerable areas had access to electricity to light homes.
"Their life stops or is very narrowed when the sun goes down," she said. "Two extra hours of light would make a big difference to their life."
The World Bank estimates that more than 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity supplies that could be used to light their homes.
Instead, said Ms Pearson, many used kerosene lamps, battery-powered lights or wood fires as sources of illumination after sundown.
Buying kerosene or batteries can consume up to 15% of a household's budget, said Ms Pearson. In addition wood was hard to gather and...