A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Charge USB Devices with Heat
The Spark can power any USB device, including cell phones, speakers, power banks and LED lights. Charging times range between 1 hour and 4 hours depending on the device or battery size. Check out our FAQ section below!
How It Works
The Spark uses a thermoelectric module to convert heat into electricity. The greater the difference between the hot side and cold side of the module, the greater the electrical output. To use, fill the Spark's reservoir with water to keep the top side of the thermoelectric module cool while the heat probe delivers heat to the underside of the module. Plug devices into the USB port in the handle for easy charging. How To Video in Prototype Gallery.
What is the Spark Great for?
The Spark is built to survive your greatest adventure or the wear and tear of everyday use. Be prepared and never without power!
"The Spark is designed for versatility and durability." - Aaron Owen
The Spark has no moving parts and is projected to out last any other heat charger by at least 3x! Use it anywhere, anytime, with any fire, cookstove, BBQ..." - Tessa Gomes, Engineer
Media and Awards
What People are Saying
“I cant wait to use the Spark for camping!” - Michael
“This Spark is an excelent addition to my disaster kits! I ordered one for each of my kids. I'm putting one in each of my families cars because you never know where or when disaster will strike!” - Doug
“I donated 5 Spark Starter Kits! I can’t wait to see the impact!” - Wendy
Keep your phone charged in emergencies. The Spark is an essential addition to your disaster supply kit.
- Be able to communicate with family, friends and rescue workers
- Power LED lights and never be in the dark during a power outage
- Peace of mind that you will stay connected and informed in any conditions
Power Outages Double Every 5 Years in the US. Prepare your family with the JikoPower Spark.
The JikoPower Spark is engineered to survive technology’s least forgiving environments. Because the Spark is so tough, you’ll be that much better prepared when you bring it on your next adventure. Whether it’s in the baking sun, pouring rain, or a muddy grind, the JikoPower Spark will keep you powered. Nothing on the market comes close to the Spark’s versatility or durability.
Charge speakers, power banks, LED lights and more! Play music and stay connected. Record every memory.
By supporting JikoPower on Kickstarter, you are helping us to grow and ultimately reach developing markets. In places like Sub-Saharan Africa, rural India, and more, the JikoPower Spark has the potential to empower people and transform the way they connect, do business, and lead healthy households. Support now and Power Change!
To charge their cell phones, people in developing countries travel up to 12 hours per week to diesel-powered charging stations and pay up to 1/8th of their income on charging alone.
How the Spark Helps
Economic Growth: With the JikoPower Spark, people save time and money. They can grow their businesses by staying connected with clients and suppliers. Others can sell charges to their local community and earn extra money for their families. With a reliably charged phone people can utilize mobile money to quickly and safely pay bills, transfer money, and access banking services. Over 40% of Kenya's GDP flows through mobile money.
Environment: With access to electricity, families aren't dependent on kerosene for light. This dramatically reduces their carbon footprint and improves respiratory health. The Spark replaces fossil fuel generators. It relies on excess heat from cookstoves and fires that people already use to cook 6-8 hours a day.
Health: With electricity and a charged cell phone, families can easily reach a doctor, and doctors can more effectively serve their communities. They can offer advice over the phone and respond to emergency situations. Innovative mobile heath applications can verify medicines, provide directions, and help to ensure safe usage.
Education: Families can afford to send their children to school instead of to work. Kids have more time to learn as they study by LED at night, and if they have a question they can call or research on a cell phone.
What is a Power Bank? A Power Bank is a rechargeable external battery. It can be charged using the cord it comes with and a Spark or wall charger similar to a cellphone. Power banks are very useful for recharging a phone or powering an LED light on-the-go. Our power bank comes with a cord, has a 2800 MAH battery and the added benefit of an on/off switch!
What is a LED Light? An LED light is an energy efficient lightbub. Our LED lights have a 3 foot long cord making them very user friendly and versatile. They can be plugged into the Spark (while in use), or the power bank. The on/off switch makes them an easy, on-the-go lighting solution!
What is a Sterno Lamp? A Sterno Lamp is a canister of gelatinous fuel for heating. They are commonly used for camping and catering. Sterno lamps are the size of a large tuna can with an easily removable lid. They provide continuous and consistent heat for 2-6 hours. Much like a candle they can be put out and re-lit later.
Pilot and Prototype Testing
100 JikoPower Spark prototypes are being actively used and tested in 6 countries: Gabon, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Nepal and India.
This summer we brought 56 Spark prototypes with us to Kenya and Uganda. The people there love them! They use them every day to charge their cell phones and make extra money by charging their neighbors devices.
Behind The Spark
The JikoPower Spark was rigorously designed to be versatile and user friendly to meet the needs of people all over the world. It can charge any USB device, using any high heat source. The Spark can be used anywhere and has a projected lifespan of at least 1000 charging cycles.
From hiking in the Rocky Mountains to cooking on the Maasai Mara, the JikoPower Spark generates energy to keep you connected.
More About The Spark
The Spark is light enough for backpacking, durable enough for everyday use, has a competitive power output and lasts more than 5 years. The Spark is made with high quality A360 Aluminum. It is very strong, corrosion resistant and fully recyclable. The handle is high temperature plastic and can withstand up to 105 degrees celsius. The Spark's efficient voltage regulator ensures maximum power output and safe charging. We chose a high-end thermoelectric chip, that is built to last 100,000 hours to ensure a long lifespan.
Our Journey Here
Ryan Ahearn became committed to making electricity available to everyone after his mother, a doctor and aid worker, came back from Haiti in 2010. She had witnessed that people in developing countries rely on their cell phones in daily life, and how difficult it is for them to keep them charged.
In 2015, JikoPower entered the University of Washington's Environmental Innovation Challenge and won both the Grand Prize and the Clean Energy Prize. It was the first time anyone had ever won both awards.
In 2016, JikoPower took the Grand Prize at the UW Business Plan Competition. We used the money to visit Kenya and Uganda and launch our pilot.
We are doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise the capital necessary to mass produce. We are also excited to make the Spark available to the hundreds of people who have asked us, "How can I get one?".
The design is done and testing has been going on for months. Our engineers are continuing to test and improve the Spark until the campaign ends and manufacturing can begin. We are allowing plenty of time for manufacturing and hope to deliver the rewards early!
- Help us reach 350 Backers! Everyone gets a JikoPower Sticker!
- Help us reach 550 Backers! Everyone gets a JikoPower Sticker and all Spark level backers get a hand made Maasai bracelet from our friend Jonas in Africa!
- Help us reach 750 Backers! Everyone gets a JikoPower Sticker and all Spark level backers get a Maasai Bracelet and additional Power Bank!
From the Left: Aaron Owen, Tessa Gomes, Dan Parrish, Marene Wiley, Ryan Ahearn, Kate Garbe, Paul Denisenko and Emileigh Thylin.
Risks and challenges
In the last year, we've more than doubled in size as a company and sent 110 prototypes out into some of the most rugged conditions in the world. Our prototypes are charging phones and eliminating kerosene usage every day in 8 villages across Kenya, Uganda and Gabon. The Spark has been a backpacking companion across Switzerland and Germany.
Design is finalized, large scale manufacturing is being prepared, extensive testing continues, and we'll keep making improvements until we ship. All the most essential signs point to success!
— But You Should Also Know —
Stuff happens. Creating anything has inherent risk. When you are bold enough to make something new, or try to solve the big problems, unknowns are the name of the game. Thank you for taking on that risk with us.
Something will go wrong. We have planned for buffer time, mitigated as many potential risks as possible and have laid out contingency plans. However, a large unexpected "learning opportunity" may throw a wrench in our well-laid plans and cause delays. We don't know what it will be or if it will happen. We can, however, assure you that we will always remain diligent and manage decisions with the utmost transparency. We are committed to delivering a quality product on time, but if we are forced to choose, we'll choose quality.
— International Backers, Please Read —
The simple fact is some places are more expensive to ship to than others. We've set shipping fees based on your country or region when you select your reward level. We are not making any money on shipping, and are actually subsidizing a portion of the cost. Rest assured that our international logistics coordinator will do her best to make sure your package gets to you, no matter where you are!
- JikoPower Spark
- Extended micro USB charging cord
Want more than one?
Just multiply $99 x the number you wish to order. Put the total $ plus shipping where it says “PLEDGE AMOUNT” - We will contact you to confirm the number you ordered. (Order more of any level the same way).
Your credit card will not be charged until Nov. 30 when the Kickstarter is over. You will then receive an email survey to let us know where you’d like your Sparks to be sent — to your address or we’re happy to send (however many you choose) directly to a non-profit of your choice. This applies to every level.
Buy one Disaster Kit for you, and donate five Starter Kits to a womens' group in Kenya or an organization of your choice. Consider this to equip your next mission trip or community service program.
Choose in email survey.
Disaster Kit for You Includes:
- The JikoPower Spark
- 3 Power Banks
- 2 LED lights
- 6 Sterno Lamps
Each Starter Kit Includes:
- JikoPower Spark
- Power Bank
- LED light
You can choose to keep all 10 Spark Starter Packs or donate them to your favorite nonprofit, religious organization or gift them to your family and friends. Choose in email survey.
Be featured on JikoPower's social media and website.
Each Starter Kit Includes:
- JikoPower Spark
- Power Bank
- LED light
US based nonprofits and religious groups choose United States shipping.
Kenyan women's group choose Rest of World shipping.
If you are able to pick it up from us in Seattle, choose United States and we will add 5 additional Power Banks and LED lights.