Osijek’s MeshPoint Gets an Award for the Best Humanitarian Technology

Total Croatia News

The people behind MeshPoint became well-known when they volunteered during the refugee crisis and brought wi-fi to the refugees.

MeshPoint has been named the best startup project in the category “Best Humanitarian Tech of the Year”, which made it the top humanitarian technology product in the competition with 11 other teams at The Europas contest. This startup project was developed based on the experience gained when these Slavonian volunteers brought to the refugees the devices for free wireless internet, as a part of the Open Network. The Croatian branch of Open Network was started in 2009 with the help of Slovenian counterparts, reports Večernji List on June 21, 2016.

MeshPoint is a device used in emergency situations, and it provides access to the Internet. The installation inside a disaster area does not require presence of experts. Any volunteer can do it. The casing consists of a router, batteries and other equipment, which makes MeshPoint an autonomous mobile wi-fi internet easy to use in any emergency situation.

It has been designed so that it can resist extreme outdoor conditions and provide access to more people at once. MeshPoint is based on the so-called open source technology, and the entire device has been placed in a 3D-printed waterproof casing. MeshPoint’s devices can be easily delivered with humanitarian packages or even thrown out of the plane, and the plan is to make the set-up so simple that anyone can do it – and thus allow fast internet access for 100 to 200 people per unit. So far, according to Valent Turković, they produced about twenty devices, and they are currently working to improve the concept – they are trying to make them even easier to handle, similar to smartphones.

MeshPoint device does not only consist of the hardware, but a whole system that allows the user to monitor its work. It is also innovative because it represents a connection with the operator network, which then allows 200 people to use it to communicate and connect to the internet, while competitive products are mostly limited to 20 people.

Six-member team from Osijek is currently registering their new company. In addition to the wi-fi device that the company will soon put on the market, it has also created the u:Plug smart outlet (wall socket for direct charging of mobile phones), a project by Ivan Jelušić, and they keep working on other projects in the area of electrical engineering and telecommunications.


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