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Creating the internet-free IoT with mesh networks

In a future where every device we use is connected and constantly sharing information, the data demands on the network will be astronomical. Advances in LTE and the evolution towards 5G can lighten the load, but why not re-think connectivity entirely? That’s exactly what HypeLabs is doing, in partnership with Ericsson ONE.

Man working at workstation
The HypeLabs team during an Ericsson ONE mentoring session

Ericsson ONE is a global community of thinkers and doers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs, brought together by a shared mission to create easy to use innovations that scale, last and solve real problems that people care about. Ericsson ONE is where we incubate new businesses and make bold innovation come to life. The HypeLabs incubation project is part of the Ericsson ONE initiative and explores using mesh technology to introduce internet-free IoT.

When Carlos Lei was a student in Porto, he kept coming up against a simple problem. He couldn't afford his phone bill, so often found himself unable to message his friends. This got him thinking – mobile devices use so many different connectivity languages, why do they need a paid internet connection to communicate with each other? The answer, of course, is that they don't.

Carlos' realisation grew into a viable tech innovation, and he founded the start-up HypeLabs to develop it. The HypeLabs SDK application uses different connectivity types to create a mesh network between local devices, without the need for the internet. Not only can the devices in this network share all sorts of data with each other, they can also use the mesh to share a single network connection if only one device is connected.

As winners of the Ericsson Dragon's Den pitch competition, HypeLabs is now being incubated with Ericsson to build a viable product, test it with real customers and then commercialize it. This collaboration gives HypeLabs access to a global network of people, resources, technologies and ecosystems to help them develop and scale their business. The vision for their mesh networking software is to one day be the communication layer on every connected device in the world, with widespread use cases in IoT, social networking, events, disaster relief and more.

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