Targeted toward people in poor countries, this power supply, sold with a photovoltaic panel, provides electricity only after the user sends a code from a prepaid card over a mobile phone. The code unlocks the system until a set number of kilowatt-hours is consumed. Users buy cards until the cost of the entire system has been paid off, after which it unlocks permanently.
Product: Simpa solar energy system
Cost: Starting at $150
Availability: January 2012
Companies: Simpa Networks
The big new idea for making self-driving cars that can go anywhere
The mainstream approach to driverless cars is slow and difficult. These startups think going all-in on AI will get there faster.
Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal
The startup used plant matter and bio-oil to sequester thousands of tons of carbon. The question now is how reliable, scalable, and economical this approach will prove.
The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it
Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.
The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images
Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.