People often write to Fixes telling us of cool new devices made for the poor: the sOccket soccer ball that stores energy as children kick it; the neoprene LifeWrap that hospitals can use to save women hemorrhaging in childbirth; adjustable eyeglasses.
We love devices — but we don’t like to write about them. It’s cheating. The technology is the easy part of solving problems. There are zillions of cool ideas. Plenty of college students have come up with a great new technology for the poor.
The bigger challenge comes from the questions around any new device: How do you build a market for a technology focused on people with no money? How do you physically get it to where it needs to be? How do poor people acquire it? How can it be adopted on a wide scale? How do you make it last? Keep reading, great article.