Outernet’s ‘Lantern’ provides remote offline digital library

About two thirds of humanity or more than 4 billion people do not have access to the internet. Outernet www.outernet.is has plans to provide those people (and the rest of us as well) with a continuously updated internet library, the content of which can be viewed off line, which means it also works even where there is no internet connection.

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The Outernet team is developing and crowd funding a device called ‘Lantern’ which is a satellite receiver, storage device and solar powered WiFi hot spot.

Here is their Indiegogo crowd funding page…

When the system is fully operational, Lantern will be able to operate anywhere on earth. It will be updated daily via satellite broadcasts and kept alive by its built-in solar panels, able to share available data with any WiFi enabled device in its vicinity.

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Lantern is an anonymous portable library that constantly receives free data from space.

Lantern continuously receives radio waves broadcast by Outernet from space. Lantern turns the signal into digital files, like webpages, news articles, ebooks, videos, and music. Lantern can receive and store any type of digital file on its internal drive. To view the content stored in Lantern, turn on the Wi-Fi hotspot and connect to Lantern with any Wi-Fi enabled device. All you need is a browser.

Oh, and Outernet is free to use, always.

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My (Sepp’s) comment: The idea is great. The device will be easy to obtain and even to make yourself. It remains to be seen how decisions are made on what content is worthwhile to distribute, and what instead isn’t. Here is what they say about content on the crowd funding page…

“Most of what we broadcast is decided by you. The rest is either part of our Core Archive (critical content, like educational material or disaster updates) or Sponsored Content. In every case, we tell you how the content got there. If it’s sponsored, we tell you who paid for it.”

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