India presented a cheap tablet computer yesterday, in hopes of delivering modern technology to the countryside for villagers.
The computer named “Aakash,” or sky in Hindi, has a color screen and allows the consumer to have word processing, Web browsing and video conferencing. The computer is one of the many in a series of India’s attempts to create cheap technology for the world.
The developer Datawind’s goal is to be able to distribute the tablet to India’s 220 million children. Several hundreds of thousands of Indians still have no electricity and therefore have no access to the Internet for business or educational purposes.
The original goal was to make it a $10 computer and a solar powered version, but these ideas did not pan out. The tablet, which Datawind is selling to the government for $45, has subsidies for $35 for students and teachers.
Though people laughed and said it could not be done, Datawind has done it. The ministry official, N.K. Sinha, invites the competition to create a better product and further drive down the price, in hopes to create a price war. Datawind’s chief executive, Singh Tuli, says “To every child in India I carry this message. Aim for the sky and beyond. There’s nothing holding you back.’’
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