Fact: University of British Columbia student Ann Makosinski is absolutely brilliant.
The Victoria resident got a lot of attention in 2013 after she invented a hollow flashlight that requires no battery. Instead, the device uses the natural body heat from your hand to create an electrical charge which powers the light.
It’s so simple, yet totally genius. So genius, in fact, the idea won her top prize in her age group at the Google Science Fair.
And now the teen has done it once again.
Makosinski’s latest invention is called the eDrink. The device is able to harness the heat from hot beverages and then convert it into enough electricity to charge a cellphone. Which basically puts all of your teenage accomplishments to shame.
Makosinski says she came up with the idea after noticing two common problems her friends were struggling with:
“The first (problem) was that their phones were always running out of battery way too quickly, and the second was that their coffee was taking too long to cool down before they could actually drink it,” said Makosinski. “So, I decided to combine both of those issues and create the eDrink.”
The eDrink looks like a regular travel mug, but the inside is lined with something called Peltier tiles. When a hot liquid is poured into the mug, the beverage heats one side of the tiles while the tabletop cools the other side, producing electricity. So, while you’re waiting for your coffee to cool down, you can use that drink to charge your dying phone.
How cool is that?
The invention earned Makosinski a $50,000 Quest Climate Change Grant, and also caught the eye of late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon.