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LuminAid helps disaster relief orgs.

Nov 21, 2011   |   by Stephanie Mc Feeters   |   The Dartmouth

Called the “Toms Shoes of electricity” by technology website Gizmodo, the LuminAID — a portable, inflatable solar lamp designed by Anna Stork ’08 — is generating excitement and funding from both outdoor enthusiasts and international disaster relief organizations, Stork said in an interview with The Dartmouth. LuminAID employs a “give one, get one” model, similar to that used by Toms, in which customers pay $25 to buy a LuminAID lamp for themselves and send one to individuals across the globe who would otherwise be unable to afford lighting, Stork said.

The LuminAID, which resembles a plastic bag with a handle, is a “really simple” product that consists of a solar panel, bright LED lights, a switch and a thin rechargeable battery similar to those found in cell phones, Stork said. The plastic bag inflates to diffuse the LED light and reduce the glare, she said. The company has manufactured 50 prototypes of the product and plans to produce additional units in the coming months...

...While at Dartmouth, Stork was interested in the intersection of design and technology and majored in engineering modified with studio art, she said.

“What was great about my major was that it gave me the flexibility to combine a lot of hard science courses with some really interesting design and creative courses in the studio art department,” she said. “I was able to hone both my skills.”

Stork’s experience combining smart engineering concepts with design helped turn the idea for LuminAID into a reality, Sreshta said.

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