2015 Breakthrough Prize award recipients
It is little surprise that when the world’s thought leaders get together, they come armed with the latest technology and devices. Each device, as well as its software and apps, are only as useful as the ability to connect to the world. Whether the information being gathered, stored and shared at these think tanks live in a cloud server or a dedicated on-site server, set-up for the event and connectivity – the ability to access and add to this knowledge base – are of paramount importance. This is where TOURtech shines.
In late October and early November 2014, two major gatherings took place: the Washington Ideas Forum hosted by The Atlantic and The Aspen Institute, and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize ceremony, founded in 2012 by the entrepreneurs that created Internet companies such as Google, Facebook, and Alibaba. Held at the Harman Center for the Arts and NASA’s Ames Research Center respectively, neither location is void of WiFi and Internet connectivity, nor is either location set up to handle the demand on its IT infrastructure that these events created.
Live streamed by The Atlantic, the two-day Washington Ideas Forum included 68 speakers and presenters on multiple stages, each with their own technology needs. The slate included government officials such as Secretary of State John Kerry, CEOs and Presidents of the nation’s cutting edge businesses such as David Crane of NRG and news media experts like Margret Carlson, columnist at Bloomberg. Moreover, the audience, including media from around the globe, all needed some level of Internet and communication access to report on and share the cutting edge content of the presentations. This level of demand for voice and data transfer could cripple and crash many corporate networks and is well beyond the capabilities of the Harman Center for the Arts.
TOURtech established dedicated high-bandwidth connection with a local communication provider and deployed a customized array of routers, data hubs, line drops and WiFi receiver/transmitters to ensure a successful forum. This proprietary networking solution was developed over the past 10 years of providing temporary managed networking for corporate gatherings and entertainment events such as television productions, music festival and sporting events. The likes of which include Amazon Fire product announcements, Nat Geo’s Live from Space, Lollapalooza, and the Chicago Marathon.
With TOURtech solutions being scaleable by nature and completely adaptable to nearly any circumstance, the firm was the obvious choice for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize ceremony. One would expect that the founders of the award and its cohost, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, would have high demands for connectivity. Beyond that, the program, produced by Don Mischer Productions, was broadcast by the Discovery Channel, Science Channel and BBC World News.
This level of connectivity is not only what the brain trusts of the world have come to expect; it has become the neural network that will propel humanity into the future. No longer confined to being completely hard wired, the need to scale up and down the data communication capabilities of gathering places is here. The devices, software and location of data will continue to evolve and change. However, the need to connect and share information will only grow. To permanently install, support and maintain maximum capacity IT infrastructure anywhere and everywhere events occur is impractical, unaffordable and to some extent, unpredictable. Thanks to TOURtech, innovations in temporary network design and deployment, as well as equipment and technology suppliers like Ubiquiti and Ruckus, connectivity capacity can be as mobile as the people who are demanding it.