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Tag: Hardware

Facebook expands its Express Wi-Fi program for developing markets via hardware partnerships

August 28, 2018 No Comments

Facebook is today launching a partner program for its Express Wi-Fi initiative, which helps bring higher-speed connections to developing markets, including India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The program itself involves having local business owners install Wi-Fi hotspots, where internet service is provided by local ISPs, mobile network operators, and others that Facebook has partnered with. Now, Facebook is launching a new partner program that will allow access point manufacturers to build devices compatible with Express Wi-Fi.

Its debut lineup of partners for “Express Wi-Fi Certified,” as the partner program is called, include Arista, Cambium Networks, and Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company.

Facebook first began testing Express Wi-Fi three years ago, and has since expanded it to the five above countries and 10 partners. The idea behind the project is to create an entrepreneurial grassroots base for the its Wi-Fi service – that is, the operators and ISPs would be working with local entrepreneurs who want to resell internet access in their own communities. The partners set the prices, but Facebook provides the software.

The company has tried to address the needs of developing markets before, via its zero-rating program Free Basics. But this program was criticized over net neutrality concerns, as it only provided access to specific websites – like Facebook, of course – to the developing markets. India eventually banned that program in 2016, as a result.

Express Wi-Fi, on the other hand, offers full, unrestricted access to the web, not a selection of pre-approved sites and services. It’s one of Facebook’s many connectivity initiatives today, along with others like OpenCellular, rural access programs, drones, and other infrastructure projects.

The new partner program for Express Wi-Fi, announced today, was built to address specific issues Facebook and its partners faced in the field, the company now explains. It says it has been working with the manufacturers to build new access points that better detect registration pages and more accurately count the amount of Wi-Fi data consumed.

This will allow the Wi-Fi service providers to sell prepaid access as well as different traffic classes – like offering some services or content for free, while charging for others. Presumably, this would be another avenue of making Facebook free to developing markets down the road.

Facebook says having hardware manufacturers on board will help its operator partners more easily set up and manage their Express Wi-Fi hotspots.

Weak and expensive connectivity is a big barrier to Facebook adoption in developing markets, especially as user growth in developed regions is stalling – or, even decreasing at times. In July, Facebook reported no user growth in the U.S. and Canada, and a loss of European users it attribute to GDPR requirements. Developing regions, however, are still coming online and could bring Facebook a whole host of new users, if people can get connected.

 


Social – TechCrunch


A $10 Hardware Hack Turns Up Zero Day Vulnerabilities in IoT Devices

July 30, 2017 No Comments

Using an SD card reader and some soldering savvy, these hackers rooted out a ton of IoT zero days.
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Kickstarter launches tools for creators, because hardware is hard

May 19, 2017 No Comments

 Kickstarter and its crowdfunding brethren have played a pivotal role in the hardware revolution of the past decade. But even now that developers have a wide range of democratizing tools at their disposal, hardware is, as ever, hard. Today the service launched Hardware Studio, a new suite of tools aimed at helping developers navigate the choppy waters of hardware development. Read More
Startups – TechCrunch


And the winner of Hardware Battlefield 2017 is… Siren Care

January 8, 2017 No Comments

ces2017_battlefieldwinner-1070028 These companies had a very special CES experience as they all pitched in front of multiple groups of judges on stage at the Sands Expo. The startups were competing for $ 50,000 and being named the winner of the Hardware Battlefield. After many deliberations, our judges narrowed the list down to four finalists: wearable device for pregnant mothers Bloomlife, smart sensors for construction… Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch


software-hardware

How Bluetooth LE And Crowdfunding Are Accelerating The Connected Hardware Boom

September 23, 2013 No Comments

It’s one trend that’s been hard to miss, being mostly clipped and/or strapped in plain sight. To spell it out, hardware startups — and the devices they’re making — are having a moment, thanks in major part to crowdfunding websites providing the funding bridge between a promising prototype and the cost of manufacturing a shipping product.

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