Here's a little more incentive to ride your bike to work everyday: now it can help charge your phone. As you pedal, a newly-designed tiny generator on your back wheel can capture some of your kinetic energy, and put it to work charging a device or a rechargeable battery pack.
The Atom, a design from Siva Cycle now on Kickstarter, is a modern version of the classic bike generator: unlike the 1950s version, it can do a lot more than shakily charge a headlight. It's also lightweight; the designers compare it to carrying a banana or a paperback book. When you reach your destination, you can pull off the rechargeable battery and take it inside with you.
A powerful battery and efficient design mean that The Atom can charge the latest smartphones, but it's not intended only for tech nomads on their way to a coffeeshop with limited plugs, or dedicated environmentalists. Like solar chargers and other distributed energy sources, it's also a solution for the 1.4 billion people in the world who don't have easy access to electricity.
For every 10 Atoms sold, Siva Cycle will donate one to those living off the grid. Eventually, they may also sell Atoms in developing markets; a micro-entrepreneur could buy one, for example, and bike from village to village helping charge LED lights, mobile phones, and other USB-chargeable devices.
Support the Kickstarter campaign here.
This project will be featured in GOOD's Saturday series Push for Good—our guide to crowdfunding creative progress.
Images courtesy of Siva Cycle