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WC Retro: Starsight

starsight.jpgBy Jamais Cascio, posted on November 23, 2005.

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 that’s what I wanted to do. We didn’t 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!)

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how can i get info on this and other like-wis products for the caribbean market

please advice

Kind thanks

alexander rahim

Posted by: Alexander Rahim on 5 Jul 06

watch out for the solar panel being stolen!

Posted by: Nickf on 5 Jul 06

This strikes me as an ideal way to also roll back the nuclear power fanatics in the developed world.

And if it gets widespread use in the developed world as well, that will roll back the price of the units and make it more economical for the developing world.

I think I'll recommend it for some of New Zealand's cities and towns, then after the problems are ironed out, I will be able to recommend it for Papua New Guinea, the Cook Islands, etc, as well.

Posted by: Wesley Parish on 6 Jul 06



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