Not long ago Cleanleap featured BRCK, the magical connectivity device made for Africa, as a cleantech innovation in achieving technological milestones, and providing solutions related to connectivity. BRCK, the Kenyan company, has continued to make steps in redefining connectivity, information and accessibility in all sorts of landscapes, basically providing technological solutions for Africa and beyond. The introduction of BRCK Education therefore, mirrors the ultimate goal of improving ways of delivering Education in African schools and mostly those that are at the very edge of mobile connecivity.
To start with, what BRCK Education did from the onset was to remove the issues associated with tablets; they are delicate, large and prone to damage in the hands of children. This saw the launch of a tablet dubbed 'Kio tablet'. Kio tablet is a rugged kind of tablet that can withstand a 70 cm drop onto concrete, survive water, and dust and still function perfectly. And above these, an 8-hour battery life, uninterrupted interactive learning with vast content from partners like eKitabu, KnowZone, and Pearson Education. While a single Kio tablet sounded brilliant however, a more creative product, a game changer, was an all-in-one package that combined all the products BRCK has created so far.
This is how Kio Kit was created, a tech revolution combining hardware, software, connectivity and content solution all in one case. The Kio Kit initiative came about as education content developers came knocking on BRCK’s door, hoping the black brick could help provide material to remote, poor or both types of communities. The Kio Kit has been dubbed the rugged digital classroom. It is a box with 40 tablets and a BRCK plus a Raspberry Pi computer; the BRCK keeping content updated by providing connectivity and the Pi acting as a micro server to store that content offline. To add to the functionality, the kit and its contents are turned on by one switch in under a minute. The kit charges each tablet wirelessly and this is definitely any remote school's go-to digital solution.
The lid of the case contains antennas to help improve connectivity, while the base, where the Kit’s 40 tablets are stored, also acts as a wireless charging station. Each tablet can provide up to eight hours of continuous use. The Kit can recharge within four hours from mains electricity or solar panels. When turned on, it houses a web server or “micro-cloud” – an offline version of the internet – providing the same kind of rich, interactive content provided by the web but without incurring expensive data costs.
With the versatility of BRCK, there are possibilities of adapting for other sectors such as healthcare or financial services, with a little variance in the content. This has been a clear cleanleap in embracing a lasting solution for the challenges faced by African's in regard to technology in the education sector.