Nhi holding up v0.1 working prototype of her team's super cheap solar charging smartphone case.

Nhi holding up v0.1 working prototype of her team's super cheap solar charging smartphone case.

The dramatic digitization of the world has inflicted deep costs on rural communities and developing nations. But the smartphone revolution has begun to combat this, making it possible to thrive in a digital world from skyscraper to village.

Even so, it's not all sunshine and roses. Rural smartphone users around the world often have to walk to charging stations powered by generators...and gasoline is hardly and efficient method of charging digital devices.

Some companies like Waka Waka and Fenix Intl make portable solar chargers, ranging from $80-200, but these solutions tend to be too costly, cumbersome, bulky, and inaccessible to people who would benefit most.

What if there was a way to make a solar charger that requires no extra parts or bulk, no walks to a charging station, more protection, extends the phone's battery life, and cost 10 times less for people to buy or make it themselves?

Well, HackSchool has a team working on making just that! The team--Nhi, Edgar, Kavon, Keren, and Dayna--has finished their v0.1 prototype, which has all the functionality they need. They're now working in 3D modeling software to design the slim case itself, which they'll 3D print in the next month or so. Then, onwards with testing and iterating!

Once their case designs are done, this will all fit into a standard-size phone case. Check out the video below of their prototype v0.1 in action! 

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