Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is awarded and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge <p>Cell Phone Communication with No Services</p>

Cell Phone Communication with No Services

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 134
Posted: May 14 2018
Challenge ID: 9934075
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The Seeker is looking for a communication system that could use cell phones to call out after a natural disaster event (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) It could be a device that attaches to a cell phone, but operation should be the same as normal cell phone use. The system should assume that cellular networks, Wi-Fi and any terrestrial services are down.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and a device/system to be tested; However Theoretical Solutions may be accepted for half the award.


In the aftermath of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake, all services are down including cellular networks and Wi-Fi. It is difficult to assess the situation even on a local scale because communication is down and transportation is nearly impossible to use for assessment. A communication system that could utilize cell phones would be beneficial because their current distribution and use is so widespread already. A communication system (could include an attached device) that could allow “normal” cell phone communication from the disaster side to the connected world without terrestrial infrastructure is the goal of this Challenge.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. A detailed description of your proposed Solution addressing specific Solution Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. A device/system to allow cellphone communication and experimental proof of its ability.

Receipt of a Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.

Note: The award for Reduction to Practice (proof of results/device) is $30,000. The Seeker would prefer a device or evidence of a system that could work; however, Theoretical solutions (without experimental proof) will be considered for half ($15,000) the award.

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver.  

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 14, 2018. Late submissions will not be considered.


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InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of IP rights, please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement.

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