It's been a busy few months for the BRCK team, as now the company has spun outside of Ushahidi and is it's own commercial entity. I've spent a lot of time since November talking to angel and seed investors, as we work to get the company going and try to ramp up more engineers on the team to accelerate the development cycle.

Why We Design and Engineer in Africa

Creating physical products is hard. Doing it in Africa is harder - due to the difficulties around rapid prototyping, shipping costs and accessibility of components. However, it’s also the best way to understand the real problems and challenges that the BRCK is here to solve. Here are a few:
  • How do you lock on to the best GSM signal when it’s not the strongest signal? (Link)
  • Power surges destroy a lot of equipment, how do we design the BRCK to handle this? (Link)
  • We really are designing BRCK here in Nairobi, what does that mean? The video below is of BRCK CTO Reg Orton talking about the challenges and opportunities:
BRCK: Designed in Kenya from BRCK on Vimeo.

BRCK in the News

CNN lists BRCK as one of the top 15 startups to watch from Africa in 2014. A short interview with Erik Hersman for CCTV on the BRCK: Erik talks to Nairobi Business Monthly on Kenya as an ICT hub in Africa.

Design Modifications

In the mean time we've finished all our engineering and are excited to share with you CAD renderings of our final design. Final BRCK case design - Jan 2014 The changes come from intensive field research over the last few months. We have separated the power button from the info light so that both are more rugged and dust resistant. We've also raised the access flaps up above the base in order to better deal with standing water.

Shipping Update

We are excited to say that things are getting close to a final ship date. We had extended redesign to do with a component change at the end of the year. Now, with internal components ordered, we’re getting ready for assembly. The Chinese new year is messing with us a bit, but we'll get past it in a couple weeks. BRCK should ship in this first quarter of the year. We're bummed about the delays as well, but know that people will be happier with the better product when it does get to them.