Just back from the West coast, and itï¿½s already time to start planning my next trip across the country. Iï¿½ve just returned from the VoIP Developer Conference, which took place in the beautiful Bay area in South San Francisco. Aside from perfect weather (it was 95 degrees and humid back home in CT; 70 and breezy in San Fran) the show was well attended and for the most part folks were happy.
One of the highlights of the show was a live demonstration of bicycle powered VoIP, courtesy of Inveneo. Inveneo has built a Linux-based PC with a VoIP connection thatï¿½s powered by either a bicycle or solar panel. This ï¿½ruggedizedï¿½ solution is designed to withstand severe climates (such as can be found in Bukuuku sub-county, Kabarole district of Western Uganda, where the solution has already been deployed) and has no moving parts and is designed to be serviced remotely, if the situation so demands.
Inveneo, working with various international relief organizations, is installing this ï¿½VoIPcycleï¿½ in remote African villages that have neither electricity nor phone access.
Perhaps the greatest need faced by the Third World is safe, plentiful access to clean drinking water, not to mention protection and salvation from the scourge of AIDS and other deadly diseases, but access to communications is critical to the future of these countries as well. Communications empowers the spread of ideas, which in turn fuels a promising future for people who have historically been unable to see beyond the hills of the very next town. My hat is off to CEO Mark Summer and his team at Inveneo for devoting even a little time to coming up with a solution that will help bring real benefits to the farthest reaches of the world. Thank you.
As I said in the opening of this column, I am ï¿½in betweenï¿½ shows. I have the opportunity to unpack my bags, get the dry cleaning done, and next thing you know itï¿½s time to start packing again: This time Iï¿½ll be heading to southern California, Los Angeles actually, for Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO.
Next monthï¿½s event promises to be one of the largest shows that weï¿½ve ever had the privilege of producing, and I for one am looking forward to it. I especially like meeting the readers of the magazine, and hearing from them first-hand what weï¿½re doing right and where we need to shore things up.
Iï¿½m very much looking forward to hearing what Michael Powell and Carly Fiorina have to say about the state of the industry too. They are the headliners of a keynote lineup that is just out of this world. For more details on whoï¿½s speaking and what else is going on at the event, check out the show preview.
Iï¿½ve said it before: Sometimes it feels like weï¿½re all playing a part in a Harry Chapin song. You know what I mean. Hereï¿½s wishing everyone safe travels. See you in Los Angeles!