At least six of the innovators honored in MIT Technology Review’s 35 Under 35 are working on technology that helps meet basic needs in developing countries. Our criteria for “basic needs” are loose and include enabling communications technologies and scientific exploration, as you will see.
These are the six:
Kurtis Heimerl: Village Base Station brings cellphone coverage to rural communities.
Heimerl led an E4C webinar, Building and Running Community Cellular Networks with OpenBTS.
Shyam Gollakota: Powering wireless devices with ambient radio waves.
Manu Prakash: Invented the Foldoscope low-cost paper microscope, a hand-cranked mini laboratory and other devices that give basic science tools to the people.
Hui Wu: Developing cheaper, longer-lasting batteries to power cars and reduce air pollution in urban China.
Kuang Chen: Founded Captricity to deliver a new way to read hand-written surveys, medical records and forms of any kind using a combination of an algorithm that learns as it goes and real people in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
Tanuja Ganu: Created the nPlug, a box that plugs into appliances and a wall outlet to monitor power levels available. It communicates with other nPlugs and learns to reduce power at peak consumption and offset blackouts in countries with intermittent electricity.