A $7 PC: Keepod Launches Project To Give African Slums Computer Access
We’ve told you before about Israeli company Keepod, which enables you to carry your desktop anywhere on a simple USB flash drive . Now, the company has directed its technology towards a noble cause – helping the billions of people worldwide who have no access to a personal computer. The company is raising $38,000 using crowdfunding for the project.
Keepod has partnered with Italian NGO LiveInSlums, which helps underprivileged populations around the world, to give computer access to people in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya, in a program that will launch next month. The Keepod Unite Project eliminates the need for a physical computer for each individual, by applying its technology so that one machine (even an old, outdated PC) can serve as a personal computer for many users. The project is being funded using an Indiegogo campaign.
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Since Keepod’s technology enables the computer to boot from the USB device and use the Keepod OS, old computers can be reused, since hardware requirements are not an issue. This way, each person can be given their “own” computer by using an old computer as a “shell.” The cost of each system is a mere $7 – a fraction of the cost of an actual PC.
“A first step toward reaching 5 billion”
Through the recently established partnership, both organizations aim to use their supplementing competencies to bring this technology to as many people as possible. By deploying Keepod Devices to existing LiveInSlums field projects, the positive impact of these projects, and on the people affected, is amplified. In addition community hubs will be established, providing the access points to Keepod Unite users, supporting local technology development and offering assistance to the users of Keepod Unite. Each hub is planned to employ a local staff.
Nissan Bahar, Keepod CEO and co-founder, explained: “After more than 30 years of personal computing and many new technological innovations, there are still more than double the amount of people without access to personal computing than there are with. Now, with the Keepod technology, we have the means to really make it happen. We are happy to have LiveInSlums as our partners to make the first steps towards reaching 5 billion”.
Giving access to culture and education
Silvia Orazi, president of LiveInSlums, said: “We engaged a partnership with Keepod Unite because we share the same idea of cultural and social empowerment. We believe that with Keepod we can give access to culture and education, even to the poorest. Free diffusion of informatics skills, in addition to the development of an informatics network generated from inside by the slum, will create new perspectives for the people living in there”
LiveInSlums operates in the slums of cities such as Cairo, Sao Paulo, Nairobi and others. It is has been active for several years, with different field projects, all related to schools and education.
Photo: Keepod and Internews Network