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Startup's 'micro data center' offers revolutionary solution to one of the internet's oldest problems: 'Such fantastic technology'

"Seems like basically a good idea."

"Seems like basically a good idea."

Photo Credit: Liquidstar

As of 2021, 43% of people living in Africa — about 600 million people in total — lacked access to electricity, with the World Bank estimating that investments of around $20 billion annually would be required to bring universal electrification to the continent, according to the Associated Press.

But one startup company has developed a way to bring "infrastructure in a box" to people for a lot less than that. Liquidstar, founded six years ago, makes Waypoints, which it describes as "rapidly deployable distributed AI/edge micro data centers and infrastructure (Water, Electricity, and Internet) in a box" — essentially, an all-in-one solution that seeks to provide answers to several problems at once.

The company's third Waypoint prototype is now operational in Djibouti, an East African country with a population of 1.1 million people. One hundred thirty-five of those people have already signed up to rent services from the Waypoint, according to CleanTechnica

The Waypoint uses solar energy to generate electricity, with a biogas generator that runs on human waste as a backup source of power. In addition, it also uses an atmospheric water generator to create clean drinking water. Excess electricity, internet, and water can be sold to nearby communities at a discounted rate.

This technology will allow people to move away from dirty energy sources, helping to decrease carbon and methane pollution that negatively affects the environment and health of the public. 

The Waypoint in Djibouti is also renting electric bikes, which are charged with the electricity it generates, and is powering a nursing center in a nearby village.

The company hopes to generate additional revenue by using its Waypoints to simultaneously run general data center applications such as training AI models and mining cryptocurrency.

Its previous two prototype Waypoints were deployed in Jamaica and Indonesia.

"Wow, fantastic, the best and most uplifting article I have read here I think! Such fantastic technology they put together, and how they deploy it, organize it all," one CleanTechnica commenter wrote.

"Seems like basically a good idea. … Pop down one of those cubes and connect to the world via starlink or something," another said.

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