Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

VoIP on a bike

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A bicycle-powered, Linux-based VoIP system: not your usual high-tech architecture. But what if you were one of the more than 1 billion people living without electricity? No power, no phone.

The mission of Inveneo, a nonprofit group of inveterate high-tech adventurers, is to bring developing communities that never reached a 20th century level of infrastructure into the 21st century. Its bicycle-powered system brings not just VoIP but also e-mail and Web browsing to remote areas, using a combination of Linux and the Asterisk open source PBX.

Inveneo puts everything together with off-the-shelf hardware that is low-cost, easily replaced, and — it is hoped — easy to troubleshoot and fix. It uses Wi-Fi networking to route traffic to a central hub with existing phone infrastructure, with a range as far as 100 miles.

The bicycle, mostly used as a backup to solar power, gives the rider one hour on the phone for every 15 minutes of work. In a village, a user might trade pedaling time for phone time — or get paid by someone who wants to use the phone but doesn’t want to work so hard.

When, at a meeting with Inveneo, I suggested that instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to hit a comet 83 million miles away, the U.S. government should support efforts such as Inveneo’s here on Earth, developer Michael Meisel took umbrage. He pointed out that if we didn’t pay for high-tech research none of the equipment Inveneo is using would exist.

Instead, according to Inveneo CEO Mark Summer, the goal is to get NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) such as ActionAid interested. Inveneo might have an impact on 10 villages, but ActionAid can fund and deploy communications systems to thousands of villages. In addition, Inveneo is working with Cisco to bring what it calls ICT (infrastructure and communications technology) to a half-million schools in Africa.

By connecting remote areas of the world, Inveneo’s efforts will help to improve the health, education, and business opportunities of millions of people. For companies such as Cisco, that’s a smart investment; because when these 1 billion to 2 billion people become connected, they will in short order become consumers.

It is estimated that in 10 years, the combined populations of what we call developing nations will make up 70 percent of the consumers in the world. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if those consumers were familiar with your products and services.

If you are interested in what Inveneo is doing, I suggest you look around its site. I’m sure it will be worth your while in the not-too-distant future.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat Summit

  • Red Hat Summit Advocates the Power of Participation
    Red Hat hosted its annual Red Hat Summit customer event June 28-30 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with a theme of harnessing the power of participation. Once again, the DevNation developer event, which is the successor to JBoss World, was co-located with Red Hat Summit. For JBoss, 2016 is a particularly significant year as it marks 10 years since Red Hat acquired it. At DevNation, Red Hat announced the new JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 7 release, providing new cloud-enhanced capabilities for Red Hat's flagship middleware platform. JBoss is now also working to help enable Java for the container era, with the launch of the MicroProfile Project, an effort to optimize enterprise Java for a microservices architecture. Java wasn't the only focus of DevNation this year either, as Microsoft took center stage too, announcing the availability of its .NET Core for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the Red Hat Summit and DevNation 2016 events.
  • How Red Hat is tailoring OpenStack to fit … everyone
    Even though there have been no major changes announced to the OpenStack platform of late, it was still one of the most talked about subjects at this year’s Red Hat Summit. Red Hat plays a significant role in the development of the platform and is very proud of its contribution to the community.
  • New technologies foster an open-source environment
    In 2007, when 3scale, Inc. was founded, some people thought it was crazy to be investing so much time and energy into API. But Steven Willmott, CEO of 3scale, Inc., said that even at that time his team knew that the future was API-driven, and they wanted to help that happen.

Leftovers: Gaming

Servo Night Builds Begin, Linux Packages Coming

The Mozilla developers working on the Servo browser layout engine and the Browser.html HTML-based web UI have kept to their goal of making a tech preview available in June. As of last night, the Servo developers hit their tech preview milestone we've been looking forward to seeing for months. Nightly builds of Servo and Browser.html have begun and they are going to be making available Linux packages shortly. Read more

Android Leftovers