Friday, October 14, 2011

The Sky's The Limit?

The HP TouchPad at NZ$819 (for 32gb), Apple's iPad from NZ$799, Amazon's Kindle Fire at NZ$289...crazy!
How about a $35 tablet computer?
India recently (Wed.5 Oct.) unveiled the Aakash, which in Hindi means "sky", billed as the world's least expensive tablet. The plan is to distribute thousands of the devices in coming months to students at a $35 subsidised rate.
The tablet has taken several years to develop, faced a lot of skepticism and received help from taxpayers. But it offers the promise of computing to millions of villagers in rural India who often seem to be living more in the 19th century than the 21st. Developers also say they hope to export the model abroad eventually.
Kapil Sibal, India’s minister for information technology and human resource development: "Today we reach to the sky and demonstrate what is possible. Let me send a message, not just to our children but the children of the world: this is for all those who are marginalised."
The 370gm touchscreen device can handle basic computing, including email, social networking, Web surfing, online banking, instant messaging and multimedia. It’s not for users who want a real tablet experience, but it will allow basic computing beyond the mobile phone.
And with India's IT might and massive production capability, it may well be that the sky really IS the limit...
(Nicholas Negroponte - take a bow.)

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