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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 Hype Labs is doing, in partnership with Ericsson.

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

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 Hype Labs to develop it. The Hype Labs 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.
After placing as one of the winning 10 teams in the Ericsson Dragon's Den pitch competition, Hype Labs is now working with Ericsson to build a viable product, test it with real customers and then commercialize it. 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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