One of my *favorite* companies at CES was Freeplay with several innovative humanitarian technology solutions as well as their innovative line of self-powered lanterns, radios, and more.
As part of their Foundation Work, Freeplay is building cheap, self powered devices for remote medicine in developing world and another device to charge One Laptop Project computers. Below are three such devices – all self powered. Emergency Radio, One Laptop Per Child Power crank (I’m not clear if this is better than the one built into those devices but I think it’s to be used for OLPC plus other devices), and one of the best innovations at CES 2009 which is an inexpensive fetal heart monitor to be used by nurses and doctors in the field to help lower infant mortality. Freeplay’s work in this field will help save thousands of lives very cheaply because the lack of such medical data in the field is a key reason for the high mortality rates in the developing world.