Take a versatile wi-fi hotspot, build it to withstand everything the outdoors could toss at it and give it enough backup power to withstand a minor blackout. You’d be holding a BRCK.
The BRCK works much the way your cell phone does, by intelligently and seamlessly switching between Ethernet, Wifi, and 3G or 4G mobile phone networks. By plugging in a SIM card or connecting to a wired or wireless ethernet connection the BRCK will automatically get online. Power is also redundant; if your AC power fails, BRCK falls back on its 8-hour battery without needing to be told.
The BRCK was built by Ushahidi, a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing open source tools for data collection. Chalk this up to yet another project where the project creators were solving problems of their own. Ushahidi operates primarily in Africa and were constantly running into connectivity issues. A couple of years and six prototypes later, they’re turning to Kickstarter to bring the BRCK to production.
Backers can preorder the BRCK for $200. Stretch goals include features like a smart AC connector and Raspberry Pi integration.
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