Title

Beacon pack

Date of Award

6-11-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Publisher

Santa Clara : Santa Clara University

Department

Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Silvia Figueira

Abstract

STEM technologies have the ability to spread information to those corners of the world where Internet access has yet to reach. However, there are very few technologies that can bring this necessity to developing countries, most of which do not have the capital to pursue these technologies. In this paper, we discuss Beacon Pack, a solar powered database in a travelers pack that can bring information acquired from the Internet to these individuals in developing countries with low-level cellular phones or "feature phones." Our product tackles this issue of providing this info, specifically news articles, to developing countries through an existing cellular signal. Beacon Pack connects to any cell signal and can thus provide educational content to surrounding individuals through SMS text, one of the few communication tools that most third world citizens have access to today. We found that this project is not only incredibly beneficial, but it is also pragmatic in its approach to bridging the information gap. Through simple coding techniques, our team was able to establish this technology to support multiple users at a cost of $150 per pack. Each pack, when connected to a single cellular service signal, can supply thousands of users with information in the area, making this project highly cost efficient. Consequently, we plan for this device to be expanded into outside countries by a San Jose based non-profit, Community Technology Alliance. Through their efforts, more teams of engineers will be able to further implement Beacon Pack to include several different types of educational tools for users, all of which will be SMS text enabled.

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