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A Multifunction Information Appliance for Emerging Economies Mythology and Reality of the Digital Di


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Title: A Multifunction Information Appliance for Emerging Economies Mythology and Reality of the Digital Di

A Multifunction Information Appliance for
Emerging Economies Mythology and Reality of the
Digital Divide Problem
  • Raj Reddy
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Pittsburgh
  • Aug 1, 2005
  • Talk presented at MIT Quanta Conference

Platforms to Serve the Bottom of the Pyramid
  • 4 Billion People at the Bottom of the Pyramid
    with incomes less than 2000 per year have not
    had access to the benefits of IT revolution
  • Dont need Word, Excel and Power Point
  • Need Access to affordable Entertainment,
    Education, Telemedicine and Communication
  • eLearning is one to many video communication
  • Telemedicine is many to many video conferencing
  • Platforms for People at the Bottom of the Pyramid
    must have
  • TV and Radio tuner chips built-in
  • Video and Audio input built-in for communication
  • Voice mail, Video mail, IP phone and Video Phone

Barriers to Entry Digital Divide Issues
  • Connectivity Divide
  • Access to free Internet for basic services?
  • Computer Access Divide
  • Accessibility Less than 5 minute walk?
  • Affordability Costing less than a cup of coffee
    per day?
  • Digital Literacy Divide
  • Language Divide
  • Literacy Divide
  • Content Divide
  • Access to information and knowledge
  • Access to health care
  • Access to education and learning
  • Access to jobs
  • Access to entertainment
  • Access to improved quality of life

How can IT Help the Masses?
  • Personal Development
  • Life-long learning, independent of the
    limitations of language, distance, age and
    physical disabilities
  • Access to entertainment watch any movie anytime
  • Telemedicine, access to doctors and treatment at
    a distance
  • Access to information about hygiene and safe
    water, helping to reduce infant mortality
  • Economic Development
  • Price discovery
  • Marketing assistance eChaupal
  • Find jobs e.g. monster.com
  • Social Development
  • Free flow of information and knowledge
  • Increased transparency of Governmental Operations
  • Disaster management and support for cyclones and

Accessibility and Affordability of IT
  • Almost Free Access to Internet
  • Basic services free
  • up to 10 email and web exchanges per day
  • Value added services at affordable rates
  • access to movies
  • Clear Value Proposition
  • To an illiterate person in a village, the need
    for a PC is not obvious
  • A TV and/or a telephone represent a better value
  • 5 in 1 multi-function information appliance PC,
    TV, PVR, IP Phone and Video Phone?
  • Accessible
  • No more than a 5 minute walk from home?
  • Affordable
  • No more than the price of a cup of coffee
  • Trustable and Tamper Proof
  • Preserve privacy and anonymity
  • Secure and reliable repository of house deeds and
    land records

4Cs - Necessary Conditions for eDevelopment
  • Connectivity Fiber to the Village
  • Computer Access Information Appliance
  • for use by illiterate people in rural communities
  • Capacity Building Digital Literacy for the
  • Content
  • Million Book Digital Library
  • eLearning
  • Tele-Medicine
  • Village Google

ConnectivityFiber to the Village
  • "A Planet Half Impoverished May Not Be Able To
    Get E-connected"
  • in "The World is Flat, Tom Friedman
  • Current cost of connectivity of 10 to 40 too
  • Even 10 of that cost would be unaffordable for
    those earning a 1 per day
  • Roads are free we pay for gas motels and
  • Information highways should be free and deemed to
    be an essential infrastructure
  • Expected cost 1 of building roads to the
  • Pay per use bundled into the service
  • Fiber to the Village - AP Aksh Broadband
  • Covering 80 million people - estimated cost 1
    per capita!
  • No right-of-way cost
  • Fiber to home cheaper than Wifi wireless in some

Computer AccessInformation Appliance for people
without formal education
  • PCtvt - PC, TV, TiVo, Video Phone, IP Phone
  • Entertainment, communication and education must
    be made affordable and accessible to the 4
    billion people living below the poverty line
  • PCs for consumption, not creation
  • For most people in a village, entertainment and
    communication are of greater importance than PC
  • Low cost PC Target by 2007 of less than 250
  • Total cost of ownership has to be less than 10
    of income
  • Per Capita Income in South Asia and Africa is
    currently less than 500 per annum
  • Shared community access to the PCtvt for the
    economically deprived

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PCtvt UI Design for Use by Illiterate Persons
  • An Illiterate person needs a more powerful PC
    than a PhD!
  • If not e-mail, use voice-mail
  • Replace Text Help by Video Help
  • Radically simple design
  • One minute learning time
  • Two click model
  • Three modes of communication Video, Audio and
  • Both Synchronous and Asynchronous
  • All-Iconic interfaces
  • Multiple input modalities
  • TV-remote, Speech I/O, Keyboard, Mouse or Cell

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Capacity Building eLearning for the Masses
  • Give man a fish and you will feed him for a day.
    Teach man to fish and you will feed him for life.
    (Old Chinese Proverb -- Lao Tzu)
  • How to teach an illiterate villager who has never
    seen a computer to effectively use PCtvt?
  • Self-evident, intuitive interfaces
  • Two clicks to most applications
  • Learning time less than five minutes to
  • Just in Time learning
  • Immersive Interactive Simulated Environments
  • Short video clips Instant access to information
    through vast video digital libraries in local
  • Interactive Problem Solving
  • Intensive programs for educating the local
    expert, the Village Information Officer
  • Teach the Teacher Programs

Content Village Google Access to Knowledge for
Use in a Village
  • Access to Essential Information and Advice
  • Medical, Agriculture, FAQ indexed and searchable
  • Interactive access to Doctors, Rescue Personnel
  • Agricultural Information
  • Price discovery, crop disease information,
    weather prediction
  • Access to Markets and Jobs
  • Disaster Relief and Management
  • Access to Newspapers, Radio and TV
  • Lifelong Learning and Education
  • Entertainment and Amusement
  • Communications
  • Video Phone, IP Telephone, Instant Messaging
  • Video Email, Voice Email, Text Email

IT can play an important role in eDevelopment
  • Poverty and illiteracy are no longer a barrier to
    using and benefiting from Technology.
  • IT can empower illiterate people by giving more
    importance to voice and video communication
    rather than reading writing
  • Economic development through
  • Price discovery Access to current prices
  • Telemedicine Video access to a Doctor
  • Job exchange
  • Access to Information Instant access
  • Education and e-learning Be a part of a virtual
  • e-governance Pay taxes and bills
  • Simple and easy to use communication within the
    village and rest of the world

Only if we satisfy the Necessary Conditions
  • Connectivity
  • Free Gigabit Connectivity
  • Affordable charges for value added services
  • Computer Access
  • At a cost of less than 5 of Per Capita Income
  • At 1 per day, that is 5 cents a day for
  • But given 4 Billion potential users, that is 100
    Billion per year
  • Capacity Building
  • Digital Literacy for the Masses
  • Content
  • Village Google Access to Knowledge and Knowhow
  • Education
  • Entertainment

Thank you!
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