News / Science & Technology

Device Keeps Internet On When Power Goes Off

Device Keeps Internet On When Power Goes Offi
X
May 14, 2013 7:59 PM
A team of Americans and Kenyans has developed a new Internet router - and it's creating buzz. That's because it is an affordable, reliable solution for people without consistent Internet access. It can run while plugged in or on battery power, jump between networks at will, and become a mobile hotspot for multiple devices. The team presented the device - called the Brck [pronounced Brick] - at the Re:publica tech conference in Berlin. Michael Scaturro has more for VOA.
Device Keeps Internet On When Power Goes Off
Michael Scaturro
A team of Americans and Kenyans has developed a new Internet router - and it's creating buzz. That's because it is an affordable, reliable solution for people without consistent Internet access. It can run while plugged in or on battery power, jump between networks at will, and become a mobile hotspot for multiple devices. The team presented the device - called the Brck [pronounced Brick] - at the Re:publica tech conference in Berlin.

Erik Hersman and his team in Nairobi have created what they say is the first router made especially for Africa. It's battery powered and rugged. And it's gaining attention in Europe and the United States. In just a week, the team has met half of its cash target on the fundraising website Kickstarter.com.

Hersman gave the keynote speech about the Brck at the Re:publica tech conference.

"What we have right here is the version six prototype. It will be decreasing in size. Already it's about this footprint and thinner."

Brck is rock solid

The Brck device works with unreliable power and unreliable Internet to provide connectivity to entire villages.

Blogger Al Banda of Cameroon said he saw the device for the first time this week in Berlin. The device drew his attention because it could solve an issue that he has experienced.

"In Cameroon, in my community, we constantly have power outages, and you won't get access to the Internet. We constantly have the ISPs for any random reason just not providing the service they claim they're providing us, so a solution like that is an African answer to an African problem," said Banda.

James Clardy, a venture consultant from Texas, said he's already bought a Brck and thinks it might be a hit in developed countries as well.

"I'm exploring uses of these technologies for building telehealth, building telemedicine. So having a portable device that can connect to the Internet is of as much value to me as a technology developer," said Clardy.

Production stage nears

Hersman said the device works on any available Internet or power sources.

"If you have an Internet connection problem, it will "fail over" to the sim card, so you'll have 3G connectivity, which means that you can completely unplug it and take it with you wherever you want to go, and have connectivity along the way," he said.

Hersman told audiences at Re:publica that production will start when the company meets its Kickstarter goal of $125,000.   

The company plans to make 500 to 1,500 devices during the first production run, with most going to Africa and India.  

Each device is slated to cost about $100.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: andrewborovskikh@gmail.co
May 15, 2013 10:12 AM
This device is worth its price. The power outages and unreliable internet connection are so annoying that it’s surprising no one came up with a robust device like this long ago.
There are a lot of watchdog devices on the server-side that provide switching to a reserve server when the main broadcast server fails. High-time a similar thing like a CLIENT-SIDE WATCHDOG emerged. Here it is.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs