Saving lives at the US-Mexico border with cheap mobile phones and art

The Transborder Immigrant Tool uses GPS-enabled mobile phones to help immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. Artist Ricardo Dominguez has combined an inexpensive mobile phone with built-in GPS and visual navigation tools to produce a device intended to reduce the number of deaths that occur each year among the thousands of migrants who try to cross from Mexico into the United States. The phone has a visual system that works like a compass and helps immigrants locate resources such as water caches, safety beacons and highways by vibrating when within a certain proximities.

The project is in its first phase, but Dominguez hopes to have 500 phones ready for distribution through workshops by the end of the year.

The project was awarded the Transnational Communities Award in 2007.

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Also of interest:
Of Migrants and Minutemen: The Border Film Project