Science, Tech & Environment

Bringing technology to developing world

Invineo's goal is to bring low-cost sustainable internet access to developing countries. Early on, the project realized that computer hardware and software were only part of the solution, and many rural countries don't even have reliable electricity providers to run computers. So one of the company's first inventions was a bike-powered desktop computer. I first reported on Invineo three years ago but now they have a bigger office and more staff, but the computer they're distributing has shrunk, it's only about the size of three DVD case stacked on top of each other and requires less power. And it can now run off solar cells. So why do they continue to push desktops when their competitors go with laptops? The organization feels that sharing a smaller group of desktops is easier and cheaper than trying to provide a laptop to every child in the world. Also, providing different methods of bringing technology to the developing world isn't a bad thing. This independent analyst says one size does not fit all so different approaches will help. To date, Invineo only has a few thousand computers out in the field and one site is this rural school in Uganda which has 10 computers. Currently the teachers are undergoing training and then they'll show the school's 600 students how to use them. The principal says he looks forward to the day when his kids can surf the internet.

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