Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat, accidents - the list of factors that can knock out power goes on and on. With backup generators for electricity so prevalent after a disaster, a nonprofit tech company in Kenya is making a backup device for Internet access.
How to Make Contact in an Emergency
The Nairobi-based company Ushahidi created a backup device called BRCK that's a Wi-Fi router as well as a 3G and 4G modem with data settings for any cellular network worldwide, Technology Review's David Talbot reported. Just change the SIM card. BRCK has software with a documented API so anyone can write apps for it.
Since BRCK also connects to a cloud-based server, that means a device deployed in rural Indonesia can be fully managed from an office in Paris - or vice versa, according to the company's Kickstarter page. They're currently trying to raise money to manufacture 1,000 devices.
You might be wondering, Who needs a backup generator for the Internet when the system is already so resilient? OK, lucky duck, maybe not you and your high-speed service but people living in areas where access is spotty or slow to begin with know how frustrating it can be to connect. Add a disaster, and getting online right now grows more challenging.