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BluPoint awarded £500K to develop pioneering web solution

BluPoint, a University of Southampton spinout and Southampton SETsquared member, has been awarded half a million pounds by Innovate UK to launch a ‘pop-up’ local web technology. The award was made under the ICURe programme, piloted by SETsquared.

BluPoint’s low-energy, solar-powered networking system allows communities to access digital content on their mobile phones free of charge. Serving content at speeds faster than 4G, the technology doesn’t need a smartphone and can work without internet connectivity or a web browser.

Dr Mike Santer, BluPoint’s founder and director, explains: “Users can connect to a BluPoint network using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even FM radio. It is important that we offer connectivity beyond Wi-Fi as, for example, 70 per cent of the handsets in Kenya and South Africa are not smart phones.

This means anybody with a mobile device can use BluPoint. It will be particularly valuable in less developed countries without an internet infrastructure.”

The inspiration for the company came from Mike’s PhD at Southampton, which researched the mobile internet in sub-Saharan Africa. “I was determined to give people access to information that was completely free at the point of use,” says Mike.

The funding will allow BluPoint to get up and running, and bridge the gap between the commercial idea and raising external funding to roll it out globally. “With potential applications in health, education, mining organisations to name just a few, the possibilities are endless,” says Mike.

Find out more about BluPoint

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