Innovations and Interdisciplinary Solutions for Underserved Areas. Second International Conference, InterSol 2018, Kigali, Rwanda, March 24–25, 2018, Proceedings

Research Article

Bringing Life Where There Is No Light: A Low-Cost Movie Projection and Data Collection Solution for Underserved Areas

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-319-98878-8_9,
        author={Alain Shema and Michel B\^{e}zy},
        title={Bringing Life Where There Is No Light: A Low-Cost Movie Projection and Data Collection Solution for Underserved Areas},
        proceedings={Innovations and Interdisciplinary Solutions for Underserved Areas. Second International Conference, InterSol 2018, Kigali, Rwanda, March 24--25, 2018, Proceedings},
        proceedings_a={INTERSOL},
        year={2018},
        month={9},
        keywords={ICT innovation USSD ICTD M4D Rural entertainment},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-319-98878-8_9}
    }
    
  • Alain Shema
    Michel Bézy
    Year: 2018
    Bringing Life Where There Is No Light: A Low-Cost Movie Projection and Data Collection Solution for Underserved Areas
    INTERSOL
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-98878-8_9
Alain Shema1,*, Michel Bézy2,*
  • 1: Syracuse University
  • 2: Carnegie Mellon University Africa
*Contact email: sralain@syr.edu, bezy@andrew.cmu.edu

Abstract

Limited access to electricity in rural Africa impedes the human and economic development in these areas by restricting access to information. In addition, data collection in this region remains a costly and time consuming endeavor. However, recent developments in solar energy and the fast adoption of mobile phones present new opportunities to reach people living in African villages. In this paper, we present an innovative solution that combines a relatively inexpensive, solar-powered movie projection kit with a simple USSD based mobile application to provide entertainment in villages, while collecting data in a cost effective, real-time manner. The results from a pilot project in 8 villages where we deployed this solution highlight the possibility of obtaining detailed and instantaneous market data for advertisers, whilst simultaneously entertaining audiences with high quality content. We also discuss additional possible uses for the solution in other sectors such as health and education.