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From tackling social exclusion to connecting the emergency services: four ‘Connecting for Good’ use cases

At Vodafone, we believe in the power of connection. When we all come together to use technology for a purpose, we can achieve positive change and build a better world.

This is the thinking behind our philosophy ‘Connecting for Good’, which motivates the work we do in our business and there was no better place to showcase this than at Mobile World Congress 2019 last month.

Driving for a future that’s accessible for everyone

In 2006, Isidre Esteve’s life changed forever.

The renowned motorcyclist and serial Dakar rally competitor suffered a fall which saw him damage his spinal cord.

The accident forced Isidre into a wheelchair, and scuppered his hopes of winning the famous race on two wheels.

But his dreams didn’t end there.

Last month, Isidre completed the race in a car for the third year running, using adapted controls on his steering wheel and a range of connected devices to assist his efforts. This included a smart cushion to help avoid pressure ulcers, a smart suit to monitor his physical condition and a connected helmet to relay all this data, as well as critical information about the car. 

He spoke about his experiences to a rapt audience at MWC in Barcelona:

MWC in Barcelona

Reliable energy for remote communities

BBOXX began as a final-year university project aimed at bringing electricity to a remote Rwandan village. Today, it represents a serious global business proposition for solar energy systems.

The solution is a smart, off-grid solar power generator that allows for remote monitoring – including checks for faults, firmware updates, and alerts in the event of missed payments. Power units can be activated remotely in under an hour, and currently operate in more than 12 countries worldwide.

As the vision for the project has grown, so too has its need for connectivity and a robust, centralised management platform. Enterprise-grade managed connectivity has allowed the BBOXX team to scale rapidly whilst maintaining a clear view of their global customer usage via a single, Vodafone-enabled management platform.

Support for socially isolated youngsters

School can often be taken for granted but there are thousands of children suffering with long-term illnesses who long for the opportunity to be in school every day, surrounded by their friends and peers.

Not only do these children risk falling behind in their studies as a result of their illnesses, they also miss out on crucial social development experiences at school.

The Norwegian organisation No Isolation has developed a unique solution to this problem. AV1, a robot designed by No Isolation, provides a way of tackling the social isolation faced by those children unable to attend school because of long-term illness.

The robot – which is highly portable, equipped with a camera that rotates 360 degrees, and makes use of Vodafone’s 4G network – serves as the child’s eyes, ears, and voice in the classroom.

AV1’s ability to transmit large amounts of data in the form of reliable, secure, high quality video streaming, represents a breakthrough in IoT technology – and another example of technology being put to positive use.

Connecting those who protect us

While mobile connectivity makes many jobs easier, for those in the emergency services it’s a vital, life-saving resource.

Emergency One is an organisation at the vanguard of firefighter requirements, designing and manufacturing vehicles tailored to the needs of fire and rescue workers.

The company’s Vodafone-enabled, connected fire engines incorporate technology that monitors everything from onboard water levels, to kit stock, and blue lights and sirens status. Sensors throughout the vehicle collect data that contributes to fast, accurate post-event reporting.

All of this allows the firefighters to focus on the job at hand, and affords them the peace of mind needed to do that vital job safely.

Sharing our philosophy with the world

From tackling social exclusion to connecting the emergency services, it’s clear there are many ways to use technology for good and it’s something we’re extremely passionate about.

Bringing to life “Connecting for Good” to the world’s stage at MWC made us feel really proud of what we do and sharing our achievements only means more people can get involved – and hopefully help change the world for the better.

For more information on all our news from MWC19, please visit our dedicated microsite. For more information on Connecting for Good, please visit our Vodafone Foundation site.

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