Bill Gates is on the loose again - 4 world changing ideas

These are actually fairly cool and proof that the world desperately needs gadgets and really at heart Bill Gates is a Gadgeteer dude.

WIRED prototypes four world-changing product ideas from Bill Gates

I’d like to buy a couple of those Juice Boxes. It seems interesting that USB is becoming the new world power plug standard and something that influencing my decision as to what kinds of device etc that I buy anymore (ie USB chargeable for example)

[quote]The Challenge: Create a portable, all-purpose power source.

The Solution: You can transform lives with just 10 watts if you can provide it at any time—thats enough to power a tablet, a refrigerator, and lights for studying at night. [/quote]

Trust me, the sort of people who currently have no power, do NOT need a tablet. Neat ideas, though.

The one thing they do tend to have is a cell phone and if you can charge that, it might be a winner. That is one of the things that I most liked about BioStove as not only do they understand the engineering of a great device but they understand the social engineering needed to have the device used as strangely sometimes it takes more then a good idea to change the world

I lived in areas with power, and areas without power. In the areas with power, phones were available, though generally expensive (as in, per-minute), and most people didn’t really have anyone to call. Cell phones existed, and if one was wealthy enough to own their own phone, it would most likely be a cell phone, because landline infrastructure was somewhere between laughable and non-existent.

In areas without power, nobody had a phone, so nothing needed charging. A clean-burning stove would’ve been nice, but like you said, it takes more than a good idea, because charcoal from wood is the way it’s been done for generations upon generations.

These areas have serious difficulties to overcome. I just found the tablet comment from Wired funny, because a lack of tablets isn’t one of the difficulties they have :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think the general idea is not bad. Not that anyone in such areas would need a tablet computer. But if every village would be able to easily communicate with the wired world, they would be able to call for help if needed or get warnings for oncoming disasters.

As a second usage (and here comes the tablet or a similar thing) it might help the youngsters to study (at least the basics).

Well I know that this is theory, and traditions often work against this (like no education for girls). But the general idea is good, and if this project is realized without demanding anything from this kind of people it’s a good thing.

Yield is very interesting, crop and animal management is a huge growth market for embedded devices in my view.

Being able to off grid charge a cell phone is huge, and given that they use USB format I look for other USB rechargeable based gadgets such as UV water purification, lights, radios. etc.

Has anyone here ever charged a cell phone with a BioLite? I’m interested in real-world experiences, the thing looks mighty interesting.

I’ve bought the BioLite stove for myself and a number of family etc (but I’m a tad biased given my name is on the founder wall) and it really is as cool as it looks. Frankly though I’ve never gotten a full charge from it as it cooked up my meals rather quickly (scarry efficient as well, six pine cones scrambled eggs sort of thing). Cup/Pan/Pot chargers would be faster given a larger power generator (larger temperature differential etc), but the biolite stove burns cleaner which is one of the design objectives (strangely I use my BioLite more as a stove then a charging device, but I have the option to use it as charging device if needed, remembering relying on just solar chargers might not be such a good idea so diversification of power generators is important).

The question really comes down to expectations, for example how long does it take for your wall charger to fully charge a drained phone and then remember the BioLite stove outputs at 2W - 4W so it will take longer to charge your phone then a wall plug or say a power pot which outputs a slightly higher wattage. For example I use those Belkin SurgePlus USB Wall Mount (10 Watts, combined for 2 USB ports) at home, so if your expectation is to fully charge a drained phone, get ready to feed fuel into the BioLite camp stove for hours sort of thing (one reason I like my Waka Waka solar charger, charge it all day in the sun and then discharge it into my phone all night while I sleep and repeat). There are a bunch of videos on youtube of folks measuring output etc from the BioLite Stove. If your looking to power up your drained phone enough to send a text or two and a quick call, then heck ya lets do that right after some hot diner (nothing like hot meals in a Canadian winter). Some day I hope that the full size BioLite Stove will be available, but until then I’m a happy BioLite Camp Stove user.