April 2020 marked loadshedding’s 12th anniversary. No one cheered and barely anyone noticed. In fact, within those 12 years, the vast majority of South Africans have accepted loadshedding as a disruption that is not going anywhere any time soon.
Whether it’s conveyer belts breaking down or wet coal, blackouts have crept their way into our, schools, offices, and homes year after year with no end in sight. But acceptance does not have to mean complaisance.
Embodying this idea in all that they do is Arion Power, a group of UCT students who put their heads together and flipped the switch on loadshedding with the Wibox; an invention of undeniable economic significance in a post-COVID-19 South Africa that keeps the one thing on that matters most – your WIFI.
Online connectivity a necessity
As a result of this year’s pandemic, more and more companies and their employees continue to shift away from traditionally shared office spaces, instead, opting to work from home. This has made consistent online connectivity a necessity for all.
Despite the Wibox being an invaluable asset to productivity in the home, and even office, workspace, an undeniable bonus that Arion Power has emphasised in the past is the comfort that the invention allows in the context of leisure after hours.
In recent years, there have been multiple lists created, all aiming to tackle the topic of, ‘What to do during loadshedding?’ These lists usually consist of family-orientated ideas such as ‘Have a braai’ or ‘Watch the stars’ but those who would rather be watching a Netflix series have unfortunately been left in the dark for many nights of 20:30 – 22:30 blackouts.
The Wibox solves this issue and provides the security of knowing those evenings of relaxation can go on uninterrupted.
The group of UCT students making up Arion Power wanted to emphasise sustainability and accessibility through their blackout defying product. When conducting market research initiatives, it became clear to the young entrepreneurs that products fulfilling similar needs were creating more gaps than they were bridging.
Uninterrupted internet connection during power outages
Whether it was the incorporation of exorbitant installation fees or the inclusion of features outside of what is really needed in order to keep your internet connection stable during power outages, Arion Power put all of their efforts towards crafting a solution that has the potential to boost the quality of life for all – during or after working hours.
With sustainability in mind, Arion Power’s ongoing relationship with Where Rainbows Meet, a non-profit organisation devoted to developing and uplifting communities, further demonstrates the group’s dedication towards empowering South Africans, not only through their invention’s function, but in its actual production.
Through Where Rainbows Meet, different groups of the community of Vrygrond, Cape Town, are presented with opportunities through events, courses, programs, and individual support.
Arion Power’s decision to align themselves so closely with the NPO means that the people of Vrygrond have regular work and the opportunity to be a part of an exciting sector of South Africa’s technology scene.
Again, it’s safe to say that loadshedding is not going anywhere. But if Arion Power has demonstrated anything through their sustainable blackout defying product, it’s that we are getting better at working around it. By enabling South Africans to work, relax, and even educate under seemingly hopeless
circumstances, the Wibox could be the solution to a problem that matters most now more than ever – staying connected.
Order your Wibox HERE