October 24, 2006 We’ve always thought that wind-up energy makes sense but wind-up energy pioneer Freeplay is now taking things to a whole new level. The company’s wind-up radio offers telecommunications in a single package – turn the handle a few times and you can radio where even electricity didn’t exist before. The allure of 20th century technology is immense and in 2002 this was demonstrated when thousands of people in Niger traded their guns for Freeplay radios in a ground breaking initiative of the Government of Niger, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Freeplay Foundation to encourage peace and stability in the region. Freeplay specialises in delivering electric power to self-powered devices such as radios, torches and mobile phone chargers, and two ingenious new human-powered products from the company are the Freecharge Weza portable energy source and the Indigo self-sufficient lantern. The lantern burns for three hours for a modicum of work and is a wonderful invention belonging in every home for a myriad of reasons. The Weza is however, a category buster – it is a small, foot-powered energy source that generates electricity at up to 40-watts to charge its own internal battery for direct 12-volt power. To charge it, pump the pedal and the generator spins. Combine the Weza with the Xantrex XPower Powerpack 400 Plus and you can run emergency lights, small power tools, a computer system or watch a mid-size TV for hours while burning a few calories. It will also juice-up from a cigarette lighter adapter in a car, serve as an emergency power source for home or a backup generator for not-at-home. An absolute must-have accessory for any self-respecting technophile who refuses to stop having fun when there’s no readily available electricity supply!