Google is partnering with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers to open the Little Box Challenge. Teams are asked to shrink inverter technology, which changes direct current from power sources and changes it into alternating current for use in homes, office and cars. Most importantly, Google is offering US$1 million to the team that finds the best solution.
The challenge presents the problem of modern day inverters as being too large. Essentially the size of a picnic cooler, which is slightly too large to be practical for some applications. Ideally, the Little Box Challenge would like to see this reduced in size to something about the size of a tablet, and it is willing to pay people to pull this off.
Participants from around the world are encouraged to enter and Google is also opening applications for research grants from universities that may require additional funding. The internet giant will be funding everyone, and intends to limit grants to between 10 to 15 groups. The grant itself will vary according to the needs of the project, although Google has said most will be between US$25,000 and US$30,000.