This Little Black Box Could Revolutionize Offgrid Internet Access

Derek Markham | Treehugger | December 23, 2013

Most of our readers have no problem getting on the internet every day for communication or research or sharing LOLcats, but if you live or work in areas that don't have reliable internet access due to lack of basic communications or power infrastructure, that simple access that we take for granted can be quite difficult.

But if this little black box, appropriately named BRCK, gets a boost in funding and development to build it into a field-ready device, that may radically change the way that people off the grid and off the beaten path gain access to the web.

The device is being developed by Ushahidi, a non-profit tech company that built the Ushahidi Platform for crowdsourced information collection, visualization and interactive mapping, as well as Crowdmap, the hosted version of Ushahidi, and SwiftRiver (a filtering and verification service for curating real-time data from the web). Their successful Kickstarter campaign for BRCK garnered enough financial support to get the product off the ground, and the team is now looking for additional backing to take this device to the next level.