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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs