Solar Powered High Speed Internet Wins Design Concept Award

OneWeb solar powered internet
The OneWeb user terminal and solar array is designed to enable anyone, anywhere to connect easily to the internet. OneWeb's mission is to connect the 56 percent of the globe that currently has no access to the Internet. The industrial design, created by Design Concepts, Inc., recently won an International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) from the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) in the social impact category.

Design Concepts, a product design and innovation consultancy with offices inMadison, Wis., and San Francisco, has been named a winner in the 36th annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)conducted by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). IDSA Board of Directors Chair John Barratt—himself a former IDEA jury chair—hails the competition as “the authority on design,” showcasing new designs in products that are used every day, and products featuring first-of-a-kind innovations.

Design Concepts’ design of the OneWeb User Terminal and Solar Array won an IDEA 2016 Bronze in the Social Impact category. The solar powered user terminals will be the local, land-based piece of OneWeb’s goal of providing global high-speed Internet access via a constellation of low-earth-orbit satellites. This concept combines satellite communications, Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, and a solar power source into a compact, self-contained solution.

OneWeb’s system will provide Internet and communications capabilities to the 56 percent of the world’s population who lack access to the connected world,” said Dave Franchino, President and Principal of Design Concepts. “Our team created a universal design concept that is easily installed by an average person living in any culture anywhere in the world—from a tribe in the Brazilian rainforest to a teacher in rural Ethiopia. This unprecedented access to information will empower communities and individuals while fostering creativity, education and equality. We believe the results will be transformative for the entire globe.”

The OneWeb User Terminal and Solar Array is among more than 1,700 designs projects from 30-plus countries that competed in IDEA 2016. Jury Chair Cameron Campbell, IDSA, led a team of global design experts at the iconic Henry Ford Museum inDearborn, MI to judge more than 600 finalists. The result—26 Gold; 47 Silver; and 63 Bronze IDEA winners that span a wide range of 21 categories such as social impact; medical and scientific innovations; transportation; home and garden; office; personal accessories; children’s products; sporting goods; and much more. “I value the critical discussions with my peers from diverse disciplines in defining the best of design,” says Campbell.

A selection of IDEA 2016 winners are showcased in an exhibit that recently opened at the Henry Ford Museum.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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