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Tablet Computers for India’s Rural Children

Tablet Computers for India’s Rural Children

 

While North Americans ponder whether to spend $199 for a Kindle Fire or $499 for the least expensive iPad, the children in this photo will soon have access to a tiny computer that promises to change their world. The world’s cheapest tablet computer is about to hit the market.

Indians will no doubt be lining up to buy the Aakash (“sky” in Hindi). At $45 for government users and $35 for students, the tablet is low cost, high power.

India’s Ministry of Human Resource and Development funded development of the tablet and is subsidizing it for institutions. It comes with WiFi and Bluetooth, has 2 USB ports and uses Google’s Android system.

UK-based Datawind won the bid to develop the 7-inch tablet. Components were sourced globally and assembled in India. Commercial users will pay just over $60. Unlimited Internet access will be available for $2 per month.

The Aakash is intended to enable rural India to benefit from the country’s technological boom. Since the tablet will be subjected to conditions that are challenging for electronics, the Aakash will come with a warranty covering replacement rather than repair.

In an interview with The Economic Times, Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said the company is partnering with Spring to bring the tablet to U.S. customers. Vodafone is also working with the company to supply its global customers, and Thailand will be meeting with the company soon. Tuli added, “A child today needs an affordable computer. Plugging a 300 keyboard in this device makes it work like a computer.”

To see the tablet in action, check out this video from NDTV.

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Photo from krebsmaus07 via Flickr Creative Commons

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65 comments

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8:17AM PST on Jan 16, 2012

One of early adopter of Aakash tablet, Pramod Prabhakar, is disappointed with the Aalash Tablet. It doesn't perform on claimed features.

9:54AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

This is wonderful that children will get access to so much.It will change their lives and their futures.

6:13PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

let the rural peoples also to enjoy the technology ,
so i think this is a good idea ,,,

8:59AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

What a useless idea. These people have no power at home, let alone internet. Provided they are able to charge it completely at school (which is a big if), the school has internet (again, a big if), and the battery keep working at a good capacity (won't be very long), they will be able to do schoolwork for a maximum of three hours a day.

A lot of money is wasted on this, and nobody gets any better out of it. Except perhaps the politicians behind it that get nice bribes for some things.

8:26AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

interesting.

8:22AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

interesting.

5:33AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

Thanks for the article.

4:28AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

ah, they could do that. get education to learn to better themself. "if you teach a man to fish...."

8:26PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

How about family planning, water, roads, food.. you can't eat a dam computer!

7:26PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

they need clean water, food, clothing and good homes before they need computers. and then they need a good basic education which does not require buying a computer they can't afford.

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