The MOSAIC2B project, Cinema-in-a-backpack introduces the innovative concept of mobile edutainment via low cost cloud computing facilities. This project has delivered edutainment services to rural villages with limited IT infrastructure of South Africa. Cinema-in-a-backpack has also boosted local and digital economy by formulating new business models in which ambitious citizens become mobile cinema operators.

''MOSAIC2B is about a business model and how you actually use Internet to create business opportunities for entrepreneurs and how you can actually distribute data content into areas with this limited communication", reports Danie Behr, Managing Director EPI-USE.

MOSAIC2B: Cinema in South Africa via cloud based business models

MOSAIC2B is an ambitious project based on the potential of cloud based applications DTN (Delay Tolerant Networks) technology funded by the European Commission / ICT FIRE's portfolio and the Department of Science and Technology of the University of Pretoria. This project was granted under European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 611796 and it has developed innovative, secure and viable distribution channels for multi-media content at rural inaccessible areas of South Africa.

The project comprises a multidisciplinary consortium such as Disney Research (CH), GraphicsMedia.net (DE), EPI-USE, Infusion, Centro de Computação Gráfica (PO). MOSAIC 2B confronts two major societal challenges the SA market. First, the inaccessibility of cinemas in rural areas, and second, the emergence of sustainable digital business models with an important contribution on the both local and global economy.

Exploring the idea of mobile cinema

The Cinema-in-a-backpack is a mobile, easy to use product which both makes cinema accessible to all citizens and it boosts local and digital economy by enabling micro entrepreneurs to project films. A projector, a battery, a tablet, some speakers and the 'Cinema-in-a-backpack' is ready to deliver its edutainment services in any rural villages of South Africa with limited IT infrastructure.

The technology developed during the initial phases of the MOSAIC2B project includes the development of a cost effective delay tolerant network (DTN) through which content is sent to the cinema operators using public busses, in this case PUTCO busses, carrying so-called infostations to bus depots in rural areas. To receive the content the micro entrepreneurs visit their local PUTCO bus depots with their ‘Cinema-in-a-backpack’. There, MOSAIC 2B application contained in the tablet connects to the infostations via Wi-Fi and the multimedia content is downloaded. Moreover, this business application, developed by EPI-USE, allows the micro entrepreneur to order, pay for and download the content of their choice and plan and document their screening events (capturing information such as number of audience members, ticket price, other business services offered and more). Last, the information collected via the business application is packaged using visual analytics, developed by Centro de Computação Gráfica in Portugal, offering the micro entrepreneurs business intelligence to assist them to optimise their cinema business.

The multidimensional contribution of MOSAIC2B

The MOSAIC2B project Cinema-in-a-backpack has a multidimensional contribution on society and economy across the world.

From the technological perspective the current project is very prominent as it depicts how Internet connects people even if in the most areas with limited infrastructure communication. To Danie Behr, Managing Director EPI-USE Africa this project shows the full potential of Internet and "how you can actually distribute data content into areas with this limited communication".

From the social perspective, MOSAIC2B enables cinema for all and it delivers the edutainment notion, a combination of educational content and entertainment, via mobile digital cinemas at an affordable cost.

"When you watched a movie alone is boring sometimes, when you are with other people socializes you get to laugh. Socializing is always a fun thing", highlights a young woman internet café owner.

Moreover, from the business perspective, MOSAIC2B also encourages micro- entrepreneurs in South Africa to unlock new business opportunities driving growth in the under-serviced areas.

"On the other hand, it's about a business model and how you actually use Internet to create business opportunities for entrepreneurs.", Danie Behr, Managing Director EPI-USE Africa asserts.

"We provide micro entrepreneurs with a cinema in a backpack which allows them to update content and screen it", reportsAdriano Galati, Associate Research Scientist Disney Research .

Visit the project website of MOSAIC2B for more details and view the short explanatory film . Join the conversation now on Twitter and discover why it is indeed worth it to MOSAIC2B!