Imagine an impoverished village in a remote area, beyond broadband infrastructure or even phone lines, where children are given low-cost laptops for education via well-meaning philanthropic programmes.
Now imagine those laptops sitting in classrooms without connectivity, where they cannot be updated with e-books or software, rendering them near-useless for the very people they are meant to help.
Mobile networks often don’t extend into rural areas; satellite and fixed wireless systems are very expensive options. However, every village has FM radios and communities already rely on them for information.
OneBeep has developed software that provides a simple, effective and low-cost way to beam out daily lessons to thousands or even millions of children. OneBeep uses a sliver of spectrum on the FM band to send out digital information which is then decoded and turned into documents for use on laptops.
OneBeep aims to alleviate illiteracy and empower remote communities by connecting the digitally disconnected.
In 2010, OneBeep won the national finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world's largest student technology competition. OneBeep then represented New Zealand at the world finals in Poland and placed third in the world, beating out 325,000 students from 69 other countries and becoming the highest ranking New Zealand team ever.
Last year, we also won the opportunity to be based at the ICEHOUSE in Auckland, New Zealand's premier business incubator and was recently ranked top 10 in the world by Forbes Magazine. Here, we are striving to enable OneBeep to provide connectivity to children worldwide.
The software is currently at the proof of concept stage. A stable and working prototype has been developed which operates effectively in controlled environments. To-date, the greatest distance over which OneBeep has been able to successfully send and receive data is 100 km.
Our tests successfully demonstrate the feasibility of the technology and we are now focused on further development to make the software more robust before we scale up for worldwide distribution. OneBeep needs your help in order to share this revolutionary educational tool with the global communities that need it most.
We need $200,000 to launch the software as open source and OneBeep is utilizing Kickstarter to generate these funds. Please visit our page (link) and consider donating to help us connect the digitally disconnected.
Meet the passionate team behind OneBeep. We are a team of recent Bachelors of Engineering (Honours) graduates from the University of Auckland.
CEO of OneBeep, manages corporate relations, strategies and future planning
Chief Marketing Officer : Handles all branding and communication around OneBeep
Handles product and user experience design at OneBeep
Chief analyst and daily operations management at OneBeep
Chief architect and technical lead of the OneBeep software