Tuesday, February 3, 2009

India Launching $10 Student Computers

You read the headline correctly. When we went to buy simcards for our cellphones in Guatemala, we heard that the components of a cellphone only cost about $1.00. Hence they sell mobile phones with prepaid minutes loaded for not much more than a simcard, and without saying it, they're practically telling you they're disposable. Disposable cellphones seemed so wasteful to us that we skipped having phones altogether, and it was rather pleasant.
The government of India is working on a 2 gigabite design, with wireless internet capability, to run on 2 watts of electricity. Pretty crazy. Inspired by One Laptap per Child, this will cost 1/20th of those, which run around $200.
The idea is to load them with textbooks. That way, they can widely disseminate materials that have been, presumably, unavailable in rural areas. Kind of like a Kindel for the masses? It's hard to think of anything more transformative, or more effective at spreading literacy. Hope they're easily and safely disposed of - at ten dollars a pop, hard to imagine they won't be a hit.

This photo is simply gorgeous - but it's promoting cellphones, not computers, of course.

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