Hands-free and has­sle-free

CityPress - - News - PHUM­LANI SITHEBE phum­lani.sithebe@city­press.co.za

Imag­ine a bag that can charge and power a cell­phone or tablet with­out be­ing con­nected to a wall socket.

It sounds lu­di­crous, right? But it is a re­al­ity, and a pro­to­type of the Aeon Power Bag will be avail­able in the next few weeks.

The bag was de­vel­oped by nu­clear physi­cist Shal­ton Mothwa from Ham­man­skraal.

Mothwa, who stud­ied nu­clear physics at the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg, came up with the con­cept in 2011.

“It was a chal­lenge to work ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively be­cause my old lap­top and cell­phone had charger and bat­tery prob­lems,” he said.

“The so­lu­tion I had in mind was to re­place the al­ter­nat­ing cur­rent adapters and the bat­tery with a medium that would pro­vide that free­dom to power my de­vice per lo­ca­tion and time.”

So how does the Aeon Power Bag work? Sim­ply put, the bag turns ra­dio sig­nals (Wi-Fi and LTE) into elec­tric en­ergy that can be used to wire­lessly charge your cell­phone or tablet. In­side the bag is a USB charg­ing slot that is com­pat­i­ble with most mo­bile devices, so you can charge your de­vice on the go. The bag it­self charges so the user doesn’t have to power it up be­fore use.

It has been a long de­vel­op­men­tal jour­ney for the Aeon Power Bag, but Mothwa is con­fi­dent that ev­ery­thing will be in place soon.

“We are mak­ing progress with the prod­uct and other aspects of the busi­ness. We are cur­rently fi­nal­is­ing the pro­to­typ­ing and hope to be done by late Fe­bru­ary or early in March,” he said.

The good news is that his in­ven­tion has caught the eye of in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Red Bull, which has an en­trepreneur­ship academy that Mothwa at­tended.

“I have re­ceived mas­sive sup­port for my com­pany since the in­cep­tion of the idea,” he said. “We are cur­rently work­ing with the Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion Agency, the Tsh­wane Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy and the SABS De­sign In­sti­tute. Red Bull and ven­ture cap­i­tal firms have also ex­pressed an in­ter­est in fund­ing this pro­ject,” he said.

When asked if he was plan­ning to de­velop the idea and sell the pa­tent, he said: “The main plan is to build a self­sus­tain­able busi­ness that can be listed, merged or ac­quired over time.”

The fu­ture is def­i­nitely look­ing bright for Mothwa and his Aeon Power Bag.

Shal­ton Mothwa and the Power Bag

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