Percussion Instrument Converts Music Into Phone-Charging Energy


SPARK helps children do their homework and cuts down on kerosene-related accidents in developing nations.

Ross Brooks
  • 20 june 2014

Playing a musical instrument requires a fair bit of energy, so why not convert that into something useful, like electricity for people who don’t even have access to lighting? SPARK is a percussion instrument being promoted by the percussionist from British electronica band, Faithless, that does exactly that. It’s part of a project called Shake Your Power, which aims to bring clean energy to parts of the world without electricity through the power of music.

Designed by Royal College of Art graduate Diana Simpson Hernandez, SPARK gathers energy thanks to a magnet that moves backwards and forwards through a coil of copper wire called a solenoid. This energy is then stored in a rechargeable battery, which means it doesn’t have to be used right away. While the instrument is mainly intended to provide power, the beads inside also give it a unique musical quality that makes it the perfect addition to a musical performance.


One place which could really benefit from this particular idea is Kenya, a country where 75 percent of the population lives without access to electricity. As stated by Sudha Kheterpal on SPARK’s Kickstarter page, “I’ve tested the prototype with a number of different communities in Kenya and have proven it is incredibly useful to people. Children, teachers and village elders have all embraced it.”

Not only does SPARK provide children with a way to do their homework at night, it also keeps families safer by eliminating the the need for kerosene lamps. The clean energy can give people access to mobile phones, which allows for great connectivity with other communities, and access to innovative new services such as the money transfer platform M-PESA.


SPARK is currently raising productions funds through Kickstarter, so head over there now if you want to make a pledge. Kherterpal urges:

I passionately believe we need to look at how to harness alternative sources of renewable energy that are good for people and the planet. For me, this project is also about connecting people and bringing them together through music. Through the joy of playing music we can create something really useful, changing the world one beat and one shake at a time.


[h/t[ Inhabitat



Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Brand Development Today

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections

Arts & Culture Today

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Today

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Today

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Travel Today

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Technology Today

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks

Food Today

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Work Today

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

Advertising Today

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers

Mobile Today

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Today

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Travel Today

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Today

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Today

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase

Arts & Culture Today

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

No search results found.