StarSight is one of those ideas that makes one wonder why it wasn’t developed years ago. StarSight combines a street light — something which can bring down crime rates dramatically — with solar panel, wireless network (WiFi or WiMax), remote management, local network access, and (optionally) hookups for charging small devices. The designers, UK-based Kolam Partnership and Singapore’s Nex-G, describe StarSight as being a key element of a “virtual utility,” a low-cost, low-maintenance provider of intangible but very useful services such as public lighting and wireless networks. All of this is very cool, and makes a great deal of sense, but there’s one last element that makes it truly worldchanging:
Its first deployment is in Cameroon, and the designers have explicitly intended the system for use in the rapidly-urbanizing developing world. Mike Butcher at the Financial Times has the details.
A technology to roll out green energy street lighting along with telecommunications and power could well be the great leap forward for which Africa is looking.
Yannick Gaillac, founding partner of the Kolam Partnership, is enthusiastic: This project will definitely change lives for the poorest people in the world and thats what I wanted to do. We didnt invent these basic technologies, but we are gathering them together in one solution.
Morocco, China and India are said to be next on StarSight’s list for potential sites for the system. And the set-up is not limited to lighting and communication — other potential uses include disaster warning systems, pollution monitors, and other location-aware network services.
(Thanks for the tip, Mike!)
(Posted by Jamais Cascio in Leapfrog Nations – Emerging Technology in the New Developing World at 11:50 AM)
nice, but it looks so bulky… and i\’m gonna bet it\’d never pass for fashion in pretty Treviso