Charge your iPhone in this Filipino-designed futuristic pedicab

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By Rie Takumi/GMA News – What is a pedicab without its distinctly low-tech design? One Filipino-born designer sought to flip trope on its head, however, as he turned the tarp-covered transport into a classy, modern number.

Named Eclipse, the pedicab-style design by Kenneth Cobonpue breaks boasts an iPhone docking base, speakers, cup holders, and cooling fans within its moon-like recesses. Because of its open design, panels on either side of the pedicab can be brought down for added privacy. A cover of acrylic fabric can also be drawn around it to protect passengers from errant puddles and rainshowers.

Called a “more civilized version of the humble three-wheeler” by Cobonpue, the new pedicab was designed with urban centers in mind.

“The most challenging aspect is getting people to rethink their traditional modes of transportation,” Cobonpue told Co. Design.

The pedicab used lightweight materials such as aluminum and polythylene for its frame, and waterproof, hand-stitched faux leather. The Pratt Institute alumni said he consciously used environmentally-friendly materials in his design to future-proof his wares.

Pedicabs are not exclusive to the Philippines, as events such as South by Southwest in Austin, Texas employs more than 500 pedicabbies to transport passengers to various locations. According to Forbes, pedicabbies in this event can earn as much as $2000 to $3000 in the festival’s two-week period, earning more than enough to cover their rental for the units they drive.

Cobonpue’s team even offered to re-design the unpopular Ninoy Aquino International Airport for free in 2013. His offer was initially turned down, but was eventually accepted.

Their design aims to turn around the airport’s notorious reputation for being one of the worst airports in the world, a dubious distinction the airport has earned twice in the past three years.

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