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Solar lanterns light up places with no electricity

15 May 2013

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Panasonic solar lantern

A solar lantern that doubles as a mobile device charger has been developed by Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp. The device, which features a built-in rechargeable battery was designed for people that live without electricity.

The company plans to bring the lantern to the market in autumn this year after conducting marketing research in off-grid areas in Asia and Africa. A prototype of the new solar lantern will be displayed at the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) to be held from June 1 to 3, 2013 in Yokohama.

About 1.32 billion people, or approximately 20% of the world's population, are still living without electricity. Many of these people use kerosene lamps for lighting. However, kerosene lamps not only fail to provide sufficient light but also emit toxic fumes and pose a fire risk. People living off-grid also face problems with charging their mobile phones.

To meet those challenges, Panasonic has developed the new solar lantern that provides clean and safe lighting and a power source. Gearing up for the planned product launch this autumn, the company will further refine the solar lantern to make it practical and convenient for everyday use by taking into account such specifications as brightness, charging time and battery run time in addition to the charging function for mobile phones and other small devices.




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