MeshPoint is a smart and rugged WiFi hotspot designed to provide instant Internet access in adverse conditions, suitable for crisis situations.
The idea for MeshPoint was hatched in 2015 when volunteers from project Open Network (Otvorena Mreža) in Croatia were helping humanitarian organizations and refugees during Syrian refugee crisis. They saw that humanitarian organizations needed communication for coordinating volunteers in the field, for logistics (having enough food and blankets in field warehouses, etc.). They also noticed that even all the biggest NGOs like Greenpeace, Red Cross, International Organization for Migration, UNICEF and others struggled to setup communication with their teams in the field, and how all current networking products are not suited to be used in crisis events by first responders.
Open Network volunteers setup mobile and fixed wifi hotspots and gave them to volunteers and humanitarian organizations that were working in the field.
In order to setup communication in crisis situations like floods and earthquakes devices first and foremost have to be easy to use, especially by first responders, but they need:
– Open source hardware and open source software
– Setup needs to be easy, as easy as creating social networking profile
– Needs to work autonomously for at least 6-8 hours (via battery pack)
– Needs to be able to charge battery pack over any power source (solar, wind, AC generator, car battery, etc)
– Can form a mesh network so coverage is spread really fast
– Has capacity to server lots of people (multiple radios and frequencies)