Innovation That Matters

Free Syrian app helps stay connected in war zones and disaster areas


Syrian-born innovation could bring internet communications to millions more in the war-torn region and other conflict or disaster areas around the world.

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They say necessity is the mother of invention. The difficulties of communicating in war-torn Syria has led to an idea that could get the world better connected. FreeCom uses the full range of smartphone capability to transmit information where there is no internet network. Thus providing vital information such as whereabouts and safety in disaster situations, the app could bring internet communications to parts of the world not yet reached and, potentially, keep us all better connected.

FreeCom encrypts data prior to transmission and therefore can utilize different communication channels securely. This can mean piggy-backing messages through multiple devices acting as mini-transmitters and receivers of lots of different signal types. Freecom can even use sound and light to send data (via a sort-of internet morse code). Founder, Abdul Rahman Alashraf, was named Young Digital Champion at the European Youth Awards (EYA) 2016 and he hopes to see his idea save and enrich lives around the globe.

Many innovations strive to get us better connected with apps that turn mobile devices into routers, and ever more innovative ways to deliver wifi. FreeCom keeps it simple, using well established technology to potentially save lives, protect freedoms and empower. More mundanely, it could be useful for all of us. How could low-cost technology further support populations affected by conflicts and natural disasters?




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