Science Technology This Little Black Box Could Revolutionize Offgrid Internet Access By Derek Markham Writer Derek Markham is a green living expert who started writing for Treehugger in 2012. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Derek Markham Updated October 11, 2018 ©. BRCK Share Twitter Pinterest Email Science Space Natural Science Technology Agriculture Energy 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. The features of BRCK include: Portable and easy to set upIt supports up to 20 devicesWiFi powerful enough to cover multiple rooms8 Hour battery backup16 GB harddrive8 GPIO pins to connect sensorsSoftware infused allows for apps, remote management, and data collectionDocumented API"As the next 4.5 billion people (65% of the world) start coming online, the need for rugged, reliable, and simple connectivity becomes critical in places with poor infrastructure and limited resources. While existing technologies work well in modern cities, the demands of emerging markets necessitates a rethinking of how technology is engineered, packaged, delivered, and supported. BRCK was conceived in exactly this type of environment. In particular, our struggles in Africa with reliable connectivity inspired us to rethink the entire concept of rugged internet access device - designing the world’s first go-anywhere, connect-to-anything, always available internet device.Whether running an office of developers or collecting sensor data from the field, the BRCK was designed to ensure that nothing gets in the way of staying connected." - BRCK Find out more about BRCK, which may be available as soon as early next year.