Juice Box: A Concept to Empower the Developing World

Juice Box

A Concept to Empower the Developing World

Juice Box is an open energy system concept that allows people to capture energy from multiple sources, store and transport it to where it is needed, and power devices even in the remotest locations.

Designed to be flexible, Juice Box supports multiple energy sources—from the electrical grid, to solar, car battery, or even kinetic. It is our vision for a simple device that gives people, regardless of where they live, safe and reliable access to much-needed electrical power.

We centered the design on human needs to improves one’s ability to work, learn, get access to information, create better living conditions, or begin new business opportunities.

We hope to find the right partners — from engineering companies to investors and manufacturers — to make the Juice Box a reality. Contact us if you are interested in collaborating with us on this 21st century design project.

"From set top boxes to mobile UIs, the Seattle design firm Artefact is justly proud of its tech savvy. So when guest editor Bill Gates wished for a recharge-anywhere power source, we went to Artefact for help." Cliff Kuang, WIRED, November 12, 2013
"1.2 billion people live off the power grid. This prototype from Artefact could make a big difference for them." Bill Gates, November 25 2013, via Twitter

More than one billion people, or 20% of the world’s population, live without electricity. Vast rural areas in Africa and Asia are without power, limiting access to education, health, safety, and social mobility. Simply put, lack of electricity means permanent poverty.

While the places where people live without electricity vary widely—in natural resources and seasons, they share a technical ingenuity, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a sense of community.

Our challenge was to design a solution that addresses the energy access problem for the largest number of people possible in a way that gives them the freedom to build a better future. Our timeline was four weeks.

Detachable LED Light

The detachable light has versatile settings for task and ambient lighting, enabling people to work or study after dark.

Swappable and Stackable Batteries

Swappable batteries with a USB port can be stacked together for extra energy or rented out, creating new business opportunities.

Source Agnostic Input Panel

The input panel safely connects to multiple sources, including raw cables.

Multiple Outputs, Immediate Impact

Multiple outputs could power phones or tablets, a smoke free stove, air purifiers, medicine refrigerators, and more—all improving the health of families.

Never Power-Less

A clear display calculates time remaining so people can plan ahead. An attachable dynamo harnesses kinetic power and enables manual charging in emergencies.

Research

Through a user-centered process of inquiry, we conducted secondary research and explored the context, target audience, and nature of existing solutions. We leveraged the in-field experience accumulated in the studio and outlines a continum of common conditions to identify the scenario where we could ideally, have the most impact.

Ideation

We evolved physical prototypes based on research, team discussions, and group learnings. Proof-of-concept functional prototypes explored the technical constraints and viability of core components of the Juice Box system.

Concept development

Exploring a range of concepts in rough physical form allowed us to truly experience the design directions for ourselves, as well as receive input from users. One of the key points of discoveries was the detachable light.

Industrial Design

The design choices we made in Juice Box reflect our empathy with the people that would use it, their environment, and their reality. For example we chose a durable rubber for the exterior, that can both insulate and protect the device.