“If it works in Africa, it will work anywhere.”
Such is the motto of Ushahidi, a non-profit technology company that has fund-raised over $127,000 on Kickstarter to produce “the easiest, most reliable way to connect to the Internet.” To combat the universal problem of getting connected and staying online, the Ushahidi team developed a prototype dubbed BRCK.
“We designed the BRCK for the changing way we connect to the web around the world, from café-hoppers in San Francisco to struggling coders in Nairobi,” wrote Ushahidi in the campaign description.
The aptly titled brick-shaped software operates as a mobile device would, by seamlessly jumping between Ethernet, WiFi and 3G or 4G cell phone networks. The BRCK was also built to endure blackouts with an eight-hour battery backup. With six days remaining, the company has already surpassed its initial goal of $125,000, which would fund the field-ready production of the BRCK prototype.
"Our software has been used for blizzards in Washington, D.C., hurricanes in the US, earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and election monitoring around the world," wrote Ushahidi.
“BRCK is our answer to a fundamental problem that arises during these situations and during the daily life of much of the world: the need for reliable connections in unpredictable environments.”
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(Photo: Courtesy Ushahidi via Kickstarter INC.)