Open source is always open to innovation whether its building a More capable Tablet than iPad or making it ultra affordable.
After having built World’s cheapest car: Tata Nano, and world’s cheapest Green car: Tata nano EV, India is now all set for another move to make technology affordable for it’s residents.
Indian Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal has launched a $35 computing device that is targeted on ‘learners’ right from primary schools to universities. The touch-enabled tablet device will eventually drop prices to $20 and subsequently $10, making it ultra-affordable. The Ministry has also begun discussions with global manufacturers to start mass production of arguably the world’s cheapest computer.
“This is part of the national initiative to take forward inclusive education. The solutions for tomorrow will emerge from India,” said Sibal.
The Tablet device will be available in different form factors with screen sizes 5″, 7″, 9″ featuring”
- A full internet browser
- a PDF reader,
- Video conferencing support,
- Word, excel, Office document support etc using Open Office
- Media Player
- REmote device management (like remote installations/ wipe)
- Connectivity: 3.5mm jack, USB, WiFi
- OS: Linux
- RAM: 2GB
Update: Here’s news coverage from an Indian channel:
This fully Open source friendly device would get attachments for running on solar power apart from the regular battery. As of now, there’s not word on the processor and other detailed specs, but it won’t be long.
There will be two variants of this device: One that is targeted for school students that will have limited memory and no harddisk., the second one (costing Rs 1,500/$35) would have decently-sized disk space primarily targeted at higher education institutions, colleges. the plan is to start shipping the device as early as beginning of 2011. Even though the price would go low with mass production, Indian government is willing to subsidize it furhter by upto 50 per cent of this cost, bringing down the price even further.
Update 2: On a closer look to the higher end device, it appears to be using Android: