Lantern is the gadget that aims to connect the entire world to the internet, or more accurately, the Outernet, for free.
The idea of the Outernet is an off-grid way to offer information, be it books, news, social media and more. This will be achieved via the Lantern which is essentially a Wi-Fi hotspot with free data.
The Outernet uses a satellite network to broadcast information, largely decided by its users. So the Lantern is a bit like a modern version of a digital radio, but it works anywhere in the world and offers a lot more than just audio. You can still view everything in a browser but it will be like in offline mode with only certain part accessible.
4.3 billion people lack access to the internet, that's around 65 per cent of the world's population. Lantern, which at time of publishing is 240 per cent over its Indiegogo funding target, aims to offer data for free, anywhere in the world – bypassing censorship.
The device is solar powered so it can keep itself going and even charge a phone at the same time. It is essentially a Wi-Fi hotspot and portable charger in one that lasts for 12 hours while receiving data or 4 when working as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Initially the campaign aims to offer 2MB of data free per day but if the $500,000 funding goal is reached that will jump to 10MB. It is currently on $479,785 at the time of publishing. The ultimate goal is to hit 100MB per day which should be enough to see most people through the day without paying a penny for data. Plus it will mean global coverage so data will be free everywhere.
Support the Outernet idea by purchasing a Lantern via Indiegogo from $99 which is about £65. Not a bad price for free data, anywhere.