You have known Ushahidi as the team that developed the open source software project for users to crowdsource crisis information to be sent via mobile.
But the team is working on a new project dubbed BRCK, a backup generator for the internet that will help internet users world over to connect and remain online even with poor or shitty connections and power source.
Ushahidi, which is also running a KickStarter campaign for you to support the project said,”BRCK is the easiest, most reliable way to connect to the internet, anywhere in the world, even when you don’t have electricity.”
It’s off if you live in an always-on power supply or internet access but folks in Africa know what this means to them.
Ushahidi designed BRCK for Africa in a move to help internet users in Africa and globally remain online as all kinds of jobs require steady internet connectivity regardless wireless connections, intermittent power, or devices that can’t share connections.
The firm said, “As we laid out what such a device would look like – physically robust, able to connect to multiple networks, a hub for all local devices, enough backup power to survive a blackout – we realized that the way the entire world is connecting to the web is changing. We no longer only get online via desktops in our office, we have multiple devices, and we are all constantly on the move. So we designed the BRCK for the changing way we connect to the web around the world, from cafes-hoppers in San Francisco to struggling coders in Nairobi.”
BRCK, still a prototype can switch between Ethernet, Wifi, and 3G or 4G mobile phone networks and aims to be a relaible mobile power to automatically replace AC power when it fails. BRCK has an 8-hour battery and is rugged enough to withstand field work in the most complex situations while still attractive enough to bring to the office. Ushahidi adds that BRCK is a software infused cloud-based device accessible from anywhere to allow users check WiFi and electricity performance, manage alerts and applications.
Though not in the market yet, Ushahidi promise their backers that this is not a gamble but a word from a team that knows how to design to solve problems, not just create products. Ushahidi’s goal is to improve the way information flows in the world.
The team, Juliana Rotich-Executive Director, Erik Hersman-Director of Operations & Strategy,David Kobia-Director of Technology Development, Jon Shuler-Field R&D, Nat Manning-Director of Business, Reg Orton-Head of Hardware and Philip Walton-Head of Software promise, “As a company full of engineers working in places with poor infrastructure, we simply cannot get connected as reliably as our peers in the developed world. Since our software came out of a crisis situation, the tools we build are aimed at helping people communicate in the toughest of situations, and helping collect information in the most difficult places.”
“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,” Ushahidi added.