This collapsible 2-ounce solar lamp is saving refugees' lives

You can literally have a pocketful of sunshine thanks to the latest invention to come out of Solight Design. It’s called the SolarPuff, and it’s a two-ounce solar lamp that can be collapsed into a flat sheet or expanded into a 4.5-inch cube. And while some may use them for their gardens, their pools, or their camping adventures, the SolarPuffs are also being used by refugees and those in developing countries as a source of light when all else seems dark.

Invented by Alice Min Soo Chun, who is also the founder and CEO of Solight Design, the SolarPuff provides much-needed illumination to many Syrian refugees who must find their way to a new home, sometimes in the dead of night. NGO volunteers have been handing out these SolarPuffs to help refugees navigate uncertain environments and uncertain times.

“A lot of times the kids are suffering from trauma and they’re frightened, but when they’re handed the light, they perk up,” Chun told Fast Company. In particular, the origami design of the SolarPuff, which allows the light to pop into action, “gives [the children] a sense of wonder.” Thus far, Fast Company reports that the SolarPuff has helped to reduce camp crime, including child kidnappings and sex trafficking. In fact, over the last year, there has been a 20-percent decrease in sexual assault in refugee camps. Chun notes that much of this can be attributed to the presence of light, which discourages would-be attackers as it removes the cover of darkness.

The light itself can last for up to eight hours and only needs sunlight to recharge. The lamp also comes with various settings for different light needs (high or low) as well as a blinking option that can signal distress or scare off an animal.

The SolarPuff has actually been around since 2015, when Chun first brought the solar lamp to Kickstarter. The project raised $500,000 in 30 days from over 6,800 backers, and Chun has never looked back. Ultimately, the goal is to bring sustainable, eco-friendly light to all parts of the world. “Eventually I want to do a SolarPuff house that’s completely self-sustaining and off the grid and you’ll be able to sell your energy back to the grid,” Chun said. But for now, this pocketful of sunshine will do.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Emerging Tech

Students who designed transforming smart home will compete in Solar Decathalon

Modular smart homes are all the rage, and now some students from Virginia Tech are putting their money on their FutureHAUS, a modular, solar-powered, transforming smart home they're taking to the Solar Decathlon in Dubai.

These headlights have 4 color settings to help save lives under all conditions

Boslla headlights are an easy-to-install solution to achieve all-weather lighting for your vehicle. After a quick ten-minute install, these lights have up to four settings to get you through anything.

Shop early Black Friday deals on Philips Hue products from Amazon, today only

Avoid the Black Friday hassle and shop great online deals. Amazon is offering huge discounts on refurbished Philips Hue smart lighting products to help light your home. For today only, you can grab a range of smart home tech from Amazon.

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Smart Home

New wireless power kit puts a charge into your smart speakers via infrared light

Wireless power technology is coming fast, and Wi-Charge is leading the innovative trend with a new wireless power kit that can transform Amazon and Google smart speakers into fully functional, wire-free devices.

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Smart Home

Save Smart: The Best Black Friday Smart Home Deals

The number of Black Friday sales can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best bang-for-your-buck deals you'll find this year on the most popular smart home products on the market.

Amazon’s new trade-in and recycling programs gives your gizmos a ‘second chance’

Amazon is generating a new level of sustainability into its platform with Amazon Second Chance, a new portal that encourages consumers to trade in and recycle their old electronic devices.
Smart Home

Amazon rejoins the fight against HIV/AIDS with a (Red) second-gen Echo

Now you can rock out to U2 and give to a good cause by buying Amazon's red Echo, a limited edition of the smart speaker that also donates money to the humanitarian organization Project (Red), founded by Bono.
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Smart Home

How to stream music from Google Home to Bluetooth speakers or headphones

Want to stream music on Google Home, but listen to it through a different speaker or a pair of headphones? Here's how to play streaming music on Google Home through Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.

These Black Friday furniture deals offer up to 80 percent off

Retailers across all industries use Black Friday to offer incredible deals on everything from kitchen appliances, to full bedroom sets. As such, it’s the ideal time to upgrade your space with pieces that will make you feel more…