Friday, October 07, 2011

Bridging the Digital Divide with the Aakash Tablet

India's new tablet computer, the Aakash, is the world's cheapest tablet computer. It will be known commercially in the West as the UbiSlate. The Aakash tablet computer is a project, much like Negroponte's OLPC project, that is meant to bridge the digital divide - that gulf that separates the technological wealthy and the electronically disenfranchised poor. It will sell in India for $50 and elsewhere for $60. Many in the West may ask why such a poor country like India would be interested in computers for their citizenry when there are pressing problems such as starvation and a lack of medical care. Well, those are two really good reasons. Unlike the West, these tablets are not designed just to consume videos, music and status updates on Facebook. With a wifi network across India, users will be able to access agricultural data to help them grow crops, or provide health care workers access to medical consultations with experts from the urban centers. India's National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology plans to link 25,000 colleges and 400 universities on the subcontinent in their e-learning program using the Aakash. India will subsidize half the cost of the tablet for it's students. The tablet is meant to support video and web conferencing. It is ironic how much poverty can drive innovation. From what I have read, these tablets are designed for durability and harsh conditions; perfect for Junior High in the West!
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Diwali said...

What is there to showcase ?....I can buy now a similar product in US for 39 dollars..I am not kidding. So many stores are selling the stuff because the market is literally flooded with cheap tablet PC from China. Some stores are even offering it for 35 dollars. - Same specs and same OS. - India as usual is blowing a hollow trumpet.

pavithra p said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

Aakash Tablet