This Could Revolutionize Internet Access

Worldwide communication has transformed the way people interact and companies do business. For regions in which internet accessibility is still limited, it is a priority for many to connect the rest of the populace. Because internet doesn’t necessarily equate to business growth, but potential for change in humanity, it is reasonable to assume that positive change can be implemented as more individuals tap into the world wide web.

BRCK2Even in developed countries, internet may not always be reliable and basic access easily taken for granted in other areas can be denied. But what may soon change this dilemma is a device which was developed in Africa, called BRCK.

The little black box, which is seeking a boost in funding to speed development into a field-ready device, has potential to radically change the way that people off the grid and with poor access to internet connect to the web.

Juliana Rotich shared the innovative plans for the device in a recent TED talk.

BRCK offers many features:

  • Portable and easy to set up
  • It supports up to 20 devices
  • WiFi is powerful enough to cover multiple
  • 8 Hour Battery backup
  • 16 GB harddrive
  • 8 GPIO pins to connect sensors
  • Software infused allows for apps, remote management, and date collection
  • Documented API

As the world evolves utilizing technology, many jobs will rely on easy, reliable connection to the internet. For the 4.5 billion people (65% of the world) just beginning to come online, simple connectivity is a critical in places with poor infrastructure and limited resources.

Erik Hersman, CEO of BRCK, summarized why the device is an essential invention which needs to be produced and made available, “While existing technologies work well in modern cities, the demands of emerging markets necessitates a rethinking of how technology is engineered, packaged, delivered, and supported.” Created in Africa by the group of engineers, developers, and technologists behind Ushahidi, BRCK was conceived in exactly this type of environment.

In particular, our struggles in Africa with reliable connectivity inspired us to rethink the entire concept of rugged internet access device – designing the world’s first go-anywhere, connect-to-anything, always available internet device.”

The transformative invention was developed by those behind Ushahidi, a non-profit company that built the Ushahidi Platform for crowdsourced information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Credit can also be given the company for creating Crowdmap, the hosted version of Ushahidi, and SwiftRiver.

The successful Kickstarter campaign for BRCK brought together enough financial support to get the product off the ground, and now the team is seeking additional backing to take the device to the next level.

From cafe hoppers in San Francisco to struggling freelancers in Nairobi, the BRCK has potential to radically change the way the world communicates, and in effect, contribute to how the future is shaped.

Sources:

BRCK

TED Talk, Rotich

Ushahidi

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