Ecological Beachgoers Are Flip-Flopping Out for New Student-Designed Mat

The sweltering heat of summer may have subsided on this side of the equator, but one Lebanese student is keeping cool all year round with his innovative eco-friendly beach mat design that charges phones and chills beverages.

Powered by a five-watt solar panel and a built-in thermal fridge, the Beachill waterproof mattress lets beachgoers keep their drinks cold and their portable devices charged while making a positive impact on the environment.

Its lightweight design makes it easy to carry to and from any location, and a small pocket provides storage space.

Antoine Sayah developed the product for a university project that prompted students to invent something that was both ecological and useful to their day-to-day lives.

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“I designed something that could solve the problems I face when I go to the beach: My phone runs out of battery, water warms up in bottles, I can’t relax because mattresses cause back pain,” the 23-year-old student told Reuters. Sayah holds a degree in product design from a school in Italy but is studying architecture at Lebanon’s University Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, where he introduced the design.

Two weeks after posting the product to Instagram, Sayah sold 60 prototypes for $150 per mat and drew attention from people all around the world.

“I got phone calls from Brazil, Toronto, all Europe, especially France, America, from all continents, Africa, and even from Congo,” said the young designer. “When I started developing the project, I thought only people in Lebanon will see it and that will be it.”

Though Sayah and his product team are working to supply the unexpected demand, only 10 Beachills can be produced a day. However, the young innovator is reaching out to investors so he can expand the production to fulfill orders for both local and global customers.

In the meantime, the Beachill has undergone a makeover. On Tuesday, Sayah’s team announced a bigger, customizable version that can be converted into a sofa or bed and features a seven-watt solar charger.

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