Fognet Update #2 — Scenarios

The full article was originally published by Evan Feenstra on Medium. Read the full article here.

In the past couple months we have had a lot of fun building out Fognet: a few more talented creators have joined the team, some interesting collaborations have emerged, and the hardware and software that will make up Fognet is evolving. However, reading about technology is boring without real-life examples! So we will save the technical updates until we we have another concrete demo to show. This post will focus more on the (equally important) conceptual progress and design decisions we have made recently.

We believe strongly in human-centered design principles, and work to create systems that are both practical and delightful. As designers and developers, we can come up with a million ideas of how to change the world with technology. But until we actually understand the real human needs of the people who will benefit from Fognet, we cannot predict every possible use case. In order to be economically sustainable in a variety of contexts, the Fognet protocol needs to be as versatile and flexible as possible. Adaptability to a wide variety of situations will be a core feature of Fognet moving forward. We will show what we mean by this by explaining how Fognet will operate in various possible scenarios:

An isolated village in a low-resource areaTangTing village in Nepal

Communities in the developing world have the most to gain from information and communications technologies. The internet can facilitate a variety of essential activities in emerging economies, from financial inclusion to education, healthcare, and employment. A 2016 Pew Research study found that “the most avid social network users are found in regions with lower internet rates,” because the ability to share data freely on the internet can have such a profound effect in these communities. I have spent over a year in Nepal, and seen some of the creative uses that people find for communications technology. In the village of TangTing near Pokhara city, people regularly climb to the top of the hill for cell service… just to send their friend in another village a “missed call”, because it doesn’t cost anything! Groups of friends sometimes set up a sort of “missed call morse code” system with each other, where one missed call means “lets meet today”, two missed calls means “wait until tomorrow”, etc. Although it seems like a lot of effort just to send a single bit of data, it is completely free, and much easier than trekking six hours to the next village!

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The full article was originally published by Evan Feenstra on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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