Initial thoughts on the BRCK

May 7, 2013

Ushahidi just announced the BRCK – dubbed the “backup generator for your Internet”. I got to see the latest prototype from Erik and have gotten to know Reg the hardware engineer behind the project. Based on some initial conversations I had with both and what I was able to gleem from the product site, here are some of my very initial thoughts keeping full in mind, that the BRCK is still very much a work-in-progress (it’s just being kickstarted) and I haven’t been able to test a demo unit yet.

First thoughts

It’s certainly looks like a useful gadget and I want one. Infact, I’m still smarting a bit from missing the initial $150 kickstarter offer. It’s also really cool to see that it’s possible for smaller groups like Ushahidi (without huge engineering armies) to do something meaningful in this space. It’s a good indication of where things are going and how intrinsic a role software will play in building things as we move forward.

In terms of functionality, here the the things I’m excited about/hoping comes true as they represent some new features that possibily represent a new product category:

Open Questions

Some things I’d like to see in V2

I know v1 isn’t even finished yet but some features I’d like to see in v2 are:

It’ll be exciting to get my hands on one of these. For my particular situation, I know i’ll find it useful. Kudos to Erik and the Ushahidi team for pulling this initial phase off. My hunch is that it will be the gadget geeks in the US with a plethora of Internet options would drive initial adoption but there is nothing really wrong with that. We’ll know after ultimately after all if there is a market in Africa for such a device if the Chinese end up cloning it!

Finally, if you want to help make BRCK a reality you can do so by going to Kickstarter and supporting their project. I think this project deserves a shot to see where it can go.

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I'm a technologist/geek living in Nairobi, Kenya. I believe open code and data can make the world a better place. Follow me on Twitter;

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