J. Nathan Matias     MIT Media Lab

I collaborate on technology, research, and communities which empower people to become more creative, more effective, and more informed. I'm a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media and an affiliate at the Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard.

Follow me at @natematias | read my blog | photos | C.V.

Grassroots Mobile: power strip that takes mobile payments

Grassroots Mobile

Grassroots Mobile is a a power strip that makes it easy for people to sell electricity to their neighbours. It incorporates automatic metering with mobile payments.

In the summer of 2012, Matt Stempeck, Ethan Zuckerman and I carried out some initial field research to scope out the project.

In the autumn of 2012, Pragun Goyal and I built the first prototype. We're now hoping to test a version 0.2 in the summer of 2013.

  1. Plug your cord into the strip
  2. Use M-Pesa to text money to the strip
  3. The power strip texts you back telling you how much power you now have
  4. When you're close to running out, the power strip texts you and eventually shuts off the power