⇓ More from ICTworks

Introducing Inveneo’s Solar-Powered WiFi Hat Initiative: The WiHat

By Andris Bjornson on April 1, 2014

WiHatPictureIn an effort to increase the reach of existing networks and contribute to efforts to connect the next billion Internet users, Inveneo has come up with a simple principle to guide development of their next big idea in wireless:  “Just use your head!”

Andris Bjornson, Inveneo’s CTO, hit upon the idea while walking down San Francisco’s Market Street and testing the city’s newly rolled out free WiFi.

As Bjornson tinkered with WiFi settings on his phone while dodging through the rush hour crowd, proverbial lightning struck: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could put this sea of bobbing heads to use to expand WiFi coverage?”

Rushing back to the lab, Bjornson teamed with Inveneo’s VP of Engineering, Bob Marsh, and the two quickly had a prototype WiHat assembled.  The stylish hat (available only in Inveneo green for the time being) features a flexible solar panel seamlessly integrated into the brim to provide power, coupled with a tiny Lithium Ion battery hidden in the peak of the hat.  Head-worn connectivity comes from two unobtrusive antennae protruding from the top of the hat.  Small ports concealed beneath the brim enable connectivity with Google Glass and other wearable tech. According to Marsh, the WiHat “gives you the max in geek cred.”

Inveneo is focusing on the traditional American baseball cap, with a one-size-fits-all adjustable clasp, though discussions are underway with prominent stylists and designers to add WiFi connectivity to sombreros, fedoras, fezes, and possibly even tuques in future versions.

Inveneo feels that combining style, renewable energy, and meshing WiFi is a surefire solution to encourage Internet-enabled WiFi networks to go viral globally.

Inveneo: “Bridging the digital divide and looking good while doing it!”

Upon bootup, WiHats auto-associate to other nearby WiHats, creating a self-configuring and self-repairing mesh network delivering broadband Internet service, delivering 100 Mbps peak network performance.  This far exceeds current connectivity in many rural areas which are traditionally underserved by non-head-mount wireless technologies.

“We see great opportunity for the solar-powered WiHat to connect billions and we are in the final stages of developing a plan to air-drop large quantities of these hats over the African and Latin American countryside” said Bruce Baikie, Inveneo’s Executive Director.

Use your head!  If you would like cranial-mounted broadband in your community, please contact Inveneo to schedule an air-drop in your area.

Filed Under: Connectivity, Technology
More About: , , ,

Written by
Since graduating from Northwestern University with a Physics degree, I have helped build long-distance nonprofit WiFi networks as a volunteer in Nepal, managed communications-hardware deployments for the U.S. Department of State, created a high-volume image archive system for an A-list advertising photographer, and helped tell the story of landmine survivors through documentary multimedia. This multi-disciplinary career path has been my attempt to blend passions for technology, creativity, and global involvement. Outside of work, I am an avid photographer and I try to spend as much time as possible getting to the top of tall things by boot, bike, climbing harness, or ice axe.
Stay Current with ICTworksGet Regular Updates via Email

2 Comments to “Introducing Inveneo’s Solar-Powered WiFi Hat Initiative: The WiHat”

  1. Daniel says:

    not bad what about adding flexible batteries in the cap to provide a quick emergency battery boost for your devices..

  2. Tomonarit says:

    Thank you for providing interesting topics. I always read your blog and sometimes share the topics in Japanese on my own blog.
    It is a very interesting hat! Is there any idea that this kind of device can be made for livestock?