Lantern: One Device, Free Data from Space Forever. That’s how Outernet announced its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo on November 12, 2014. Incredibly, within five days it had passed its $200,000 target.
Outernet declared that it wanted to push on to raise more funds to speed up the full deployment of the information-from-space project. When the appeal closed on 12 January, it had raised more than $528,000.
Outernet is an MDIF-incubated project that broadcasts Internet data from space free of charge from satellites. Lantern is an integral part of Outernet’s plan to create a regularly updated library in every village.
The original campaign was to raise funds to start production of “Lantern”, a portable library that receives free data from space and transmits it to any Wi-Fi enabled device. It turns the signal into digital files, like webpages, news articles, e-books, videos and music.
Lantern can receive and store any type of digital file. To view the content stored in Lantern, users simply turn on the Wi-Fi hotspot and connect to Lantern with any Wi-Fi enabled device. All they need is a browser.
Raising $528,000 allows Outernet to develop Android capability: since many newer satellite receivers run on Android, developing a compatible application will make it much easier for people to build their own receivers.
Read an article on CNN by Outernet founder Syed Karim: ‘Malnourished Minds’: Why it matters that 4.4 billion don’t have internet.
Visit the Outernet website to buy a Lantern or find out other ways to support the project.