Hardware Accelerator Team Spotlight: Internet Innovations
#HardwareAccelerator19 team, Internet Innovations, is creating a 4G internet booster to improve internet signals for rural residents. Team members William Block and Jaden Wright have found that lack of internet in rural areas is a widely faced problem.
What problem do you solve for the market?
The lack of high speed rural internet across the United States. As urban areas expand more and become more technologically advanced, rural areas are lacking behind on infrastructure. As we live in a world where so many things are on the internet like communication, school work, online banking, etc., it’s hard for rural residents to do these everyday activities without high speed internet. Introducing high speed internet to rural residents would allow them to access things that currently mostly urban residents have access to in regards to the internet.
Who is your customer?
Rural residents who lack high speed internet. We’ve noticed that rural residents typically live in rural areas because it’s usually cheaper, and they often can’t afford to live in urban areas, just because of the financial situation that they’re in. We’ve talked to many people about this problem ranging from teachers to small business owners located in rural areas, to engineers who just happen to live in a rural area. They’ve mostly all told us that the internet is an important part of the digital age, and many of the options currently available aren’t suitable for them.
What is your innovation or solution?
We are working on a 4G internet booster that utilizes the existing 4G infrastructure to create an internet solution for rural residents. It uses a satellite dish combined with a strong directional antenna to collect the maximum amount of signal. The 4g signal from the cell tower and in the air transmit signal everywhere. The signal from that cell tower goes to our device. Which then connects to a router and creates a local Wi-Fi and ethernet connection.
Howdid you come up with this idea?
Team member, Jaden, lives in a rural area, where he has very slow internet, and brought up his problem to me, to see if I wanted to work with him on the project. We then confirmed that many other people have this problem around the United States around 23 million, according to the FCC.
What has been the biggest surprise? What has been the most eye-opening experience so far?
For us, getting accepted into the Rev program was amazing. We did some work on this in our high school engineering class, but the Rev program will allow us to possibly create a better working product that can eventually be sold. We’ve been able to talk to more Cornell professors, and we have a large budget for customer discovery and travel, which means we have the capability to go basically anywhere in the world to talk to people. I find that to be insane that we can do that.