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Brief Published: 28 Jul 2016

Next-Gen Activists: Protest Kit

Clockwise L-R: Jammer, Wearable, Bandana, Breakdown of Parts and Router

The Backslash concept kit is designed to support safe communication during protests. Created by New York University graduates Pedro G. C. Oliveira and Xuedi Chen, the kit utilises existing technology and is attuned to global protest conditions, which vary from having no access to the Internet, to possessing multiple connected devices.

Ranging from bandanas and graffiti tools to tech devices, the kit is intended to open a conversation about freedom of expression – not to evoke action. The kit won the Speculative Concept Awards in Core 77 Design Awards 2016.

  • Panic Button: This network-independent wearable device sends a signal to fellow devices close by, indicating unsafe zones. It is ideal for countries and areas with low numbers of smartphones and poor reception. 
  • Off-Grid Network: Communication is provided by this router during emergency situations such as internet and cellular blackouts. Linking with wearables allows mapping of conflict areas.
  • Personal Black Box: This wi-fi-enabled drive connects to a cloud system, allowing nearby people to store videos and photos in real-time. It is designed to aid documentation in the event of loss or damage to a smartphone.
  • Reclaim Privacy: The Jammer allows smartphone use without the fear of personal information being collected through wi-fi antennas and scanners by authorities.

Global consumers are increasingly more active in campaigns that matter to them. Participation and resilience are easier due to access to advanced technology, making it possible for users to build and hack their own devices.

In our Next-Gen Activist report, we explore how attitudes are shifting and identify how brands can gain this consumer group's respect.