History will be made this spring, as the very first smartphone video call will be placed from the summit of Mount Everest, 8,848m above sea level. The call will be made by British explorer Daniel Hughes, who's travelling to the top of Everest in the hopes of raising £1m GBP ($1.51m USD / €1.17m EUR) for charity.
Daniel will begin his journey from Everest base camp in mid-April, and is expected to reach the summit by the middle of May. When he gets there, he hopes to speak live on BBC News via a video call made on a HTC One handset, connecting via Broadband Global Area Network satellite technology from Inmarsat. The technology will also help his journey to be a "fully interactive experience", as Daniel puts it, with regular web-chats, photo and video updates and live tracking of his journey up the world's tallest mountain.
He hopes that the expedition will enable him to raise a million £1 donations for Comic Relief, a major UK charity whose mission is "to drive positive change through the power of entertainment", and which works extensively with supporting children and vulnerable people across the UK and around the world. The highlight of Comic Relief's fundraising efforts is the huge biennial 'Red Nose Day' telethon, broadcast on the BBC's flagship UK TV channel; last week, the telethon raised a record £75.1m on the night, a fitting way to mark the event's 25th anniversary.
Daniel plans to place a Red Nose at the top of Everest, and despite temperatures of -35C, both he and HTC - one of the major sponsors of his expedition - will be hoping that the technology behind his efforts can cope with the brutal cold that he'll encounter during his ascent.
Phil Blair, head of HTC UK & Ireland, said: "As you can imagine, this will be one of the toughest tests conceivable for our handsets. They will have to cope with below-freezing temperatures, changes in atmospheric pressure and more. However, we're sure they can and will step up to the challenge. We'll be waiting with baited breath as he reaches the summit!"
You can follow Daniel's progress and make a donation at www.everestmillion.com.