Low-Connectivity Challenge


Develop new and improved processes for creatively using existing tools to share the Gospel in remote areas

A significant ratio of the world’s population are still offline without an internet connection.  Low connectivity is not only an inconvenience, but it’s a marker of inequality as well.  How do we creatively use existing tools designed for remote and isolated areas to share information, take advantage of local situations, share the gospel effectively and have a way to be informed on a monthly basis about how God is using these tools?




There is a growing effort by people and organizations to develop small, mobile wifi hotspot devices to carry evangelistic and discipleship content to areas of the world where there is little to no internet availability. There are a myriad of locations and scenarios in which devices like these could be used. Jesus Film Project plans to purchase thousands of these devices in the coming couple of years and send them around the world. Other organizations plan to do the same. Jesus Film Project would like to have a portfolio of strategies that can be offered to those in the field that receive these devices.


Part One:

Part one of this challenge is to develop strategies on how these devices could be deployed. What types of places or events would draw the most interest from nearby people?  Where do people congregate with time on their hands to watch and download videos from these devices? Different urban and rural landscapes, as well as different cultures, present different challenges and opportunities to effectively use these devices. That’s why getting global perspective on how to strategize the use of these devices is important.


As a couple of recent examples, here are a couple of urban strategies that were tested this past summer:



Part Two:

Part two of this challenge attempts to tackle data retrieval from these devices. As people are watching videos and engaging with other content, the usage information is being logged.  In order to have a better idea of how people are engaging with the content, we need to be able to collect the usage information. This information can lead to improved strategies and better content selection as well as being able to celebrate how God has been moving.


Currently someone would have to manually log into the device to retrieve the data. For some strategies, this is perfectly acceptable.  For other strategies, where the device is more permanently placed in a remote location for example, it becomes much more difficult, if not extremely rare that usage information could be collected.


What are some creative solutions to more efficiently collecting data, ideally no more than 30 days old, from these devices?


A key subtask to solve would be how to get the usage reporting back from these offline devices (i.e. LibaryBox / TP-Link MR3040). One part of the solution is that many of the strategies include a follow-up form that asks questions from these offline devices (fig. 1). Once the form is submitted in this offline environment, and email is generated on the user device (iOS, Android or Desktop) using their native email client (fig. 2).



          Figure 1 Figure 2


These devices also capture streaming / download clicks in a separate SQLlite local database, that is then used, by an offline device admin to generate a reporting email (fig. 3). This admin function requires connecting to the offline device, clicking the password protected admin page and generating a similar reporting email using the native email client of the admin requesting the offline reporting.


Figure 3

The challenge is how can we potentially include this offline reporting into the feedback email that a user would generate. In that case, an admin would not be required to physically go to each device to obtain the offline usage stats, but instead each users would generate those stats when they submitted a feedback form on their own client devices. Including this reporting in a user feedback email is the challenge part. Two possible solutions have been suggested (we would welcome others):

  1. Somehow  include some encrypted version of the download stats at the bottom of the email (fig. 2) that was hidden (possibly using white on white lettering – and if even discovered would be encrypted and require know how to decrypt it.

  2. Somehow include some encrypted version of the download stats as part of the email header that is sent with the feedback email (this header is usually hidden from the users.


In both cases, we would want to include the reporting stats, date of reporting, which device was reporting it and for which event id.


Code Sample Files Info:

/contact-css: css for feedback form

/contact-js: js for feedback form

contact.html: feedback form that created email on client

dl_statistics.html.php: stats form (dependent on firmware)

dl_statistics.sqlite: local sqlite db for stats

/js: general javascript

stats.php: code that generated report (this is tricky since it is dependent on firmware local libraries – so difficult to run – but more for getting idea of how it works.

vc_statistics.html.php: visitor stats

vc_statistics.sqlite: local sqlite db for visitor stats


Note: The actual running of the code to grab stats will not work with these standalone files, so it is more to identify the files and how the code would work. You can pass the default “Nothing’s been downloaded yet. Why don’t you download something and get this party started?” and “No visitors yet. This probably means you haven’t set the time/date on Media Library.” to proof out how this would work with encrypting and decrypting these sentences.


Sample Files can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-fKWaKuqSOLWHVtMndwNVpuSDQ?usp=sharing


I also created them in a public GitHub Repo – I thought I would just put sample files, then if you come up with a solution / recommendation with new / update files, you could just add a subfolder to this folder with your #hack location and readme.




Optional Part Three:



While any strategy ideas are welcome, there is a ministry in Zimbabwe that is dreaming of how they could deploy these devices along the Cape Town to Cairo road as millions of people travel along eastern Africa.  What would a deployment strategy look like maximizing the exposure of these devices to people traveling while making retrieval of usage data more feasible for a ministry that has limited resources?


Data, API’s or Resources


Here are 2 of these types of wifi devices / software packages being considered to support this challenge:


  1. TP-Link  http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/TL-MR3040.html

  2. HooToo – http://www.hootoo.com/hootoo-tripmate-ht-tm01-wireless-router.html

  3. LibraryBox / OpenWRT Software – http://librarybox.us/


Skills Needed


UI / UX experience on strategies for developing and engaging people to use these devices.

Hardware, experience with connectivity in remote areas

Understanding of peer-to-peer sharing technologies (e.g. wifi, bluetooth)

Other #HACK Challenges

Get Informed

Sweet monthly updates from Indigitous.