It's been a long day at campus/work and you come home feeling lazy and drained. You need a pick me up and an escape from day-to-day life, so you put your closest internet capable device on and let loose with a quick browse of 9GAG or even a nice Netflix and chill session with your partner. We all do it and need it right? But sadly not everybody has the priviledge nor have they ever experienced the joy of a netflix and chill session.
According to recent studies, approximately two-thirds of the world's population don't have internet access. The current population is around 7 to 8 billion people, so between 4.5 and 5 billion people still have to use the library and hunt for information. Be greatful for the privilidge that you possess.
So where to from here? How do we solve this global inequality? Well several companies have already started implementing systems to counter this internet poverty.
Google's project loon
Google's "Project Loon" is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters. Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. By partnering with Telecommunications companies, Google shares their cellular networks across the baloon network and back down to the global internet on Earth. So people can connect to the directly to the baloon network from their devices. Project Loon began in June 2013 with a pilot in New Zealand. The results of the pilot test, as well as subsequent tests in New Zealand, California’s Central Valley and in Northeast Brazil, are being used to improve the technology in preparation for the next stages of the project.
OuternetOuternet is a small company that broadcasts the most useful stuff from the internet via satellites in geostationary orbit. Basically, this little device on the right here, or a raspberry pi with a sattelite transceiver, can be connected to a standard satellite dish and receive internet content without the need of a data package.Outernet have taken up some humanitarian work and installed some of these in underpriviledge areas to grant the less fortunate access to the web and it's resources.
IOT - Internet of ThingsThe Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
With IOT people have been using devices like the arduino and the raspberry pi to automate and simplify their lives. Simply put, everything is connected. Your lights, doors, windows and even faucets can now be controlled from one central, possibly even mobile, location. Imagine being able to handle everything from your phone? Driving to work and thinking: "Did I switch the stove off?????" is not longer a problem. Just whip out your phone and switch it off remotely. The expansiveness of IOT makes life both easier to manage as well as more efficient as recording metrics have never been simpler.
New tech is being introduced at an alarming rate. With 5G around the corner, and with the latest storage breakthrough that can hold 10TB of data in a square centimetre, it's pretty evident that great things are in store for even those less technologically inclined.
What do you think would be the next best thing? Feel free to share you thoughts and ideas in the comments below!