Technology For All Leads the Way
Would it be helpful if your mobile devices could monitor your health, and notify you of weather changes and levels of pollution in the air? These are just a few of many technological solutions that Technology For All is researching with Rice University. With help from local leaders, TFA is leading the way to find solutions to community issues.
The project is called Convergence, which by definition describes the process whereby entities coming from different directions eventually meet. Key Opinion Leaders from the community met recently to identify issues that could be addressed through the tools of technology. Persons at the meeting included representatives from local education, area nonprofits, the East End Management District, Councilman Gallegos' office, Rice University, Internet service providers and community residents.
The top two concerns identified in Houston's East End were community safety and environmental hazards. Other issues identified included digital literacy for adults and youth who will become our future workforce, and access to computers and the Internet. By providing services such as computer training, extending WiFi throughout the neighborhood, and installing
pollution sensors, security cameras and other devices, residents will feel safer and more informed on how to manage hazardous situations.
In collaboration with Rice University, TFA is seeking funding from the National Science Foundation and others to support our efforts to create a Smart Community around our office and through the Convergence initiative. Part of the research is known as the Internet of Things. Converging individual tools to communicate with each other will provide solutions to many issues within people's lives. Intel predicts that over 31 billion "things" or devices will share data through the Internet by the year 2020. Today's examples include the ability to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and other health indicators through Fitbit devices. Security, lighting, temperature and other "things" in your homes or businesses can now be monitored and controlled with mobile phones. Inventions like these will solve many issues our community residents face daily, if they have the skills and the infrastructure.
In addition, President Obama and the Federal Communications Commission recently announced two new programs which will enable low-income residents to obtain Internet access and computers at a reduced cost. TFA's community leadership and research, as well as these new government initiatives, will open a new digital world for those who have formerly been without technology.
You can help with the Converenge project by making a gift today. Thank you for your support!