Ushahidi was created to enable the free flow of information during crises, but this flow of information depends critically upon a reliable connection to the Internet.
With huge digital divide in Africa, and low penetration of Internet connectivity, the founders of Ushahidi realized the need for a portable device that could bring a data connection to the remotest parts of the world. The BRCK, which started funding through a Kickstarter campaign in May 2013, is described by its designers as a “go anywhere, do anything, self-powered, mobile WiFi device.” The hardy rugged box takes a 3G data enabled SIM card to broadcast a WiFi signal in over 140 countries around the world that can then be shared with 20 other devices. The power system is built to take knocks through reverse voltage or surges, and can provide 8 hours of Internet in full-power mode. And for places where a power connection isn’t reliable either, it can be charged using a solar panel, a computer, or even a car battery.