The iShack solution

Updated 9:07 AM ET, Tue January 8, 2013
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The iShack is a high-tech shack developed by the University of Stellenbosch, designed to provide slum dwellers in South Africa with a reliable source of electricity and protection from extreme temperatures. Malcolm Worby
Nosanjo Plaatjie (pictured) and her three young children were chosen to become the occupants of the iShack prototype, based in Enkanini, outside Stellenbosch, South Africa. Malcolm Worby
Plaatjie, a domestic worker employed once a week, says her family's life has improved significantly after relocating to the iShack. Malcolm Worby
The iShack is equipped with a photovoltaic panel, sufficient to provide indoor and outdoor light and charge a mobile phone. Malcolm Worby
The iShack uses a flexible DC multigrid system that allows for additional appliances to be added to the core unit over time. In addition, through the installation of a grid interface module, the system could seamlessly be integrated into the AC grid. Malcolm Worby
The project is going to be scaled up after winning a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Malcolm Worby
More than 60% of the urban population in Sub-Saharan Africa lives in slums, according to U.N. Habitat. Malcolm Worby