India develops 35-dollar 'laptop' for schools

Jul 23, 2010

India has come up with a 35-dollar touch-screen "laptop" -- a computing prototype that it aims to make available to students from elementary schools to universities.

The gadget, developed by the elite Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science, is part of a push to give students a better education and technical skills needed to boost India's economic growth.

The first users are expected to be university students with introduction of the Linux-based computing device targeted for next year.

The ministry is going to install broadband Internet at all of its 22,000 colleges so students can use the 1,500-rupee (35-dollar) device, government spokeswoman Mamta Verma told AFP on Friday in New Delhi.

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The tablet gadget, which can be run on , is equipped with an , video-conferencing capability and a media player, among other facilities.

"This is part of the national initiative to take forward inclusive education," Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters on Thursday.

"The solutions for tomorrow will emerge from India," he said.

Sibal said the cost of the motherboard, chip, processing and other components cost a total of around 35 dollars but the government may subsidise 50 percent of the price for .

Sibal said the government, which hopes the cost of the device can eventually fall to 10 dollars, is in discussions with global manufacturers to start of the device.

India, whose 63 percent literacy rate lags far behind many other developing nations, such as China with 94 percent, is making efforts to improve its troubled education system, which lacks investment in schools and teachers.

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User comments : 31

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Skeptic_Heretic
Jul 23, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
OscarGonzalez
not rated yet Jul 23, 2010
This is Amazing! So much for the $100 laptop project. This is better, seems like it would be widely adopted because of the government subsidies and the idea of making this around $20.00 USD is even more enticing.
Redhead7
not rated yet Jul 23, 2010
An important next thing is the instruction means to transmit for the best education. Website http://www.wfs.or...ht07.htm with The World Future Society and http://Onlinevide...room.com
provide the most likely means.
david_42
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
Although it has been demonstrated that giving Internet access to low-income children decreases their academic accomplishments.

http://news.yahoo...y_tc3118
Redhead7
not rated yet Jul 23, 2010
Sorry - I entered the wrong World Future Society -
http://www.wfs.or...ht06.htm is the correct one.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2010
Although it has been demonstrated that giving Internet access to low-income children decreases their academic accomplishments.

http://news.yahoo...y_tc3118

This article deals with donating old equipment to schools, not with giving internet access to low income families. The article even states that the internet wasn't a distraction because it wasn't available for most of the sampled students.
baudrunner
5 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
"The solutions for tomorrow will emerge from India," he said.
Very amusing. This reminds me of what one Indian aquaintance told me a few years ago. He said, "India is the world leader in computer and internet technology." Of course, he said that because India remains the most popular outsourcing destination for "tech-support" telemarketing groups, and no doubt employs more people in that field than the rest of the world combined. Still, I won't take anything away from a healthy ego.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Jul 23, 2010
Very amusing. This reminds me of what one Indian aquaintance told me a few years ago. He said, "India is the world leader in computer and internet technology." Of course, he said that because India remains the most popular outsourcing destination for "tech-support" telemarketing groups, and no doubt employs more people in that field than the rest of the world combined. Still, I won't take anything away from a healthy ego.

Their consumer electronics industry is almsot a whole generation ahead of what you'll see at a BestBuy or CompUSA in the US. He's not wrong if he's talking purely about the end user market.
po6ert
2 / 5 (1) Jul 23, 2010
make it a text based system so that reading is nessessary to use the device. graphic interfaces retard reading skills. a graphic system uses more system resources . check out a word processing program like "professionalwrite" i still use it
boznz
Jul 23, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Eric_B
3 / 5 (2) Jul 23, 2010
"Their consumer electronics industry is almsot a whole generation ahead of what you'll see at a BestBuy or CompUSA in the US. He's not wrong if he's talking purely about the end user market."

Let me correct you... It's the Electronic Consumer Industry that is a generation behind in the USA. I bought a cheap new laptop a year ago and it was irredeemable junk. It is so obvious that they put in poor quality speakers and display adapters solely for the justification, creation and continuance of an artificial price point of $1000-$2000 for some other junk.

The hardware technology does not match the price, corporate greed makes the price.
oliverhear
Jul 23, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 24, 2010
Let me correct you... It's the Electronic Consumer Industry that is a generation behind in the USA. I bought a cheap new laptop a year ago and it was irredeemable junk. It is so obvious that they put in poor quality speakers and display adapters solely for the justification, creation and continuance of an artificial price point of $1000-$2000 for some other junk.

The hardware technology does not match the price, corporate greed makes the price.
I can buy a 4g smart phone from a vending machine for less than $100 in Asia, Less than $200 in Europe, and in the US, I can't find a carrier that delivers 4g, Sprint has a 4g network but the penetration is poor and the devices are all but nonexistant.

Average Broadband speed in Asia is 7.8Mbps, europe 5.9Mbps, US 1.2Mbps.

Average tv signal in asia 1080p, europe 1080p, us 720i.

The US is nowhere near cutting edge when it comes to technology, we haven't been since the mid 90's.
marco23554
Jul 24, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
kafantaris
not rated yet Jul 24, 2010
It seems unfair that the United States, as other countries in the world, should have to compete with others elsewhere where very cheap labor is their primary advantage. Yet complaining about our house getting flooded won’t make it any drier. Only our hard work will do that, and only the ingenuity and savvy of the American people will see us through.
In facing the challenge, let us not forget that we still excel in the important areas of education, technology, individual freedoms, the arts, entertainment, elective government, our courts, natural resources, and yes, even our health care. Moreover, labor costs should eventually reach an equilibrium across the globe, since people and their needs are the same across the globe.
Yet, an even greater challenge lies ahead, and with far greater consequences than cheap computer technology: This is the abundant energy from the sun, and our constantly improving ways to capture it and store it the form of hydrogen * * *
loboy
not rated yet Jul 24, 2010
The obvious question is, at what scale does this unit cost $35? 100,000 units? 1,000,000 units?

A computer is no replacement for a good teacher.
Royale
5 / 5 (2) Jul 24, 2010
Let's not all forget. The US has a two year technology ban on electronics. So all this "new stuff" coming out is actually two years old.
DKoncewicz
5 / 5 (2) Jul 25, 2010
The obvious question is, at what scale does this unit cost $35? 100,000 units? 1,000,000 units?

A computer is no replacement for a good teacher.


True, but it is a good replacement for a textbook which costs twice as much, particularly if you need 4-8 textbooks a year. This does bring up reliability questions for the laptops though since books can last a couple of decades (albeit they'd be outdated then and it's easier to update a text file than print a new book). Still, there are many good ways to get some educational use out of these things.
getgoa
5 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2010
the next step is computers instead of travelling to school. Mass transit of young learning children always seems to be more risk than actual learning and small portable computers are a welcomed substraction to this risk. I welcome the idea of animated professors and having avatars instead of real actual humans.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2010
School is not all about learning. Subtract the social interaction and you get people who are highly educated but completely useless in the job market.

The 35 dollar laptop just shows how ridiculously overpriced consumer electronics are (hey, how else could Apple post PROFITS of 60%? )
getgoa
1 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2010
School is not all about learning. Subtract the social interaction and you get people who are highly educated but completely useless in the job market.

The 35 dollar laptop just shows how ridiculously overpriced consumer electronics are (hey, how else could Apple post PROFITS of 60%? )


I do not know where people get these readings from, it is definitely not about what is intended in the article?> And if money is the line of thinking then Everyone in the world knows American money is wicked like the Egyptian Eye of Horus--

Exodus 9:27 found 3
And Pharao sent and called Moses and Aaron, saying to them: I have sinned this time also; the Lord is just: I and my people are wicked.

drbo.org.

This must be another psychologist trying to get rid of this phrase in the bible:



Proverbs 24:19 found 4
Contend not with the wicked, nor seek to be like the ungodly:for evil men have no hope of things to come, and the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
Bill_Turtle
5 / 5 (3) Jul 26, 2010
Why does this person HAVE to use the comment box to push their religious agenda? It's interesting that they had NOTHING to say except some twisted theory about how a "scientist"(psychologist) is trying to get rid of a Biblical phrase. I may be wrong but I didn't see Bible study as a tag line on this web site. Why take a non-religious site that is simply here to inform us about new technology, and twist it into ones religious agenda? I wouldn't go to a Christian site and comment with techno-babble and how it is superior to religion. Oh the hypocrisy........ and the self-righteousness........!

Oh yeah, almost forgot, those $35 computers are a wonderful idea! I know how depressed the economy is in India, and for the government to step up and subsidize them (and make it easy for their kids to get an education), gets a tilt of my hat! I just wish they would make it that easy for us here in the States! Maybe in time....
CHollman82
not rated yet Jul 26, 2010
iPad Costs $229 to produce. Manufacturing cost is just about $10, because they're completed at East Asia countries with cheap human power already. Retail price exceeds $800, though.

http://gear.ign.c...8p1.html


Do you understand that they amortize the cost of research and development into that price?

Engineers and programmers are not cheap... The metal, plastic, and silicon that go into things are not expensive, any idiot could have told you that, the real cost is the cost of development, which is upfront and must be recuperated over the lifetime of the product...
Royale
not rated yet Jul 26, 2010
then the copycats in china can make them just as good without doing any development. love it.
antialias_physorg
1 / 5 (1) Jul 27, 2010
Do you understand that they amortize the cost of research and development into that price?
If you've looked at the teardown videos of the iPad you'd notice that almost no development has gone into it. It's all stock parts (with the possible exception of the touchscreen - but that isn't exactly new tech, either).

And most certainly no 'research' has gone into any Apple product since the very first Apple computer.

The only 'development' is in the software - and such development is on the order of 100k or less.

Apple boasts 60% PROFITS per year. This means that even if they pay no one on their staff (including Steven Jobs) a dime they are STILL overpricing their merchandise by an obscene amount.
CHollman82
5 / 5 (2) Jul 27, 2010
If you've looked at the teardown videos of the iPad you'd notice that almost no development has gone into it. It's all stock parts (with the possible exception of the touchscreen - but that isn't exactly new tech, either).


And if you had any idea what you were talking about you would know that all consumer electronics are made with "stock parts"... but putting those parts together on a circuit board and making it work is not trivial... there is more hardware and electrical engineering involved here than you can comprehend.

The only 'development' is in the software - and such development is on the order of 100k or less.


100k or less? Are you joking?

I bet most of their software engineers make close to that per year, the development cycles for these products is several years and encompasses hundreds of people.

But what do I know, I only write firmware for $50,000 fiber optic test and measurement equipment.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 27, 2010
If you've looked at the teardown videos of the iPad you'd notice that almost no development has gone into it. It's all stock parts (with the possible exception of the touchscreen - but that isn't exactly new tech, either).
Outside of processors, just about all electronics are "stock parts".
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 27, 2010
So how do you square it that a company from India can sell the same stuff for 35$ (even though they get some subsidies)?
Don't they need development?
Don't they need to pay their programmers?

Yes - they don't make a profit off it, but C'mon: The discrepancy between what Apple charges for its products (any) and what other companies charge for comparable/better products is just staggering.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 27, 2010
Well ap here are a few reasons why.

Lesser manufacturing standards, domestic production, cheaper labor, no tariffs, no shipping, the people care about education over entertainment, $35 is a month's salary for most Indians...

That start it off nicely?
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 27, 2010
Since Apple manufactures in low cost countries and shipping is incredibly cheap (to ship a shoe around the world costs 15cents) I think your argument has no leg to stand on here.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 27, 2010
Since Apple manufactures in low cost countries and shipping is incredibly cheap (to ship a shoe around the world costs 15cents) I think your argument has no leg to stand on here.

Shipping is more than freight cost. I'd recommend you look up what the tariffs on manufactured electronics are. I'd further recommend you determine what "new and innovative" developed technology is included in these netbooks India is deploying and compare that to the amount of R&D Apple puts into their devices.
Javinator
5 / 5 (1) Jul 27, 2010
Pretty nice to see. I was excited about those $100 laptops they had a while ago for developin nation. Gooooo education for all.
CHollman82
5 / 5 (2) Jul 27, 2010
I'd further recommend you determine what "new and innovative" developed technology is included in these netbooks India is deploying and compare that to the amount of R&D Apple puts into their devices.


He already asserted that Apple puts no R&D into their products... which of course is ridiculous and shows a massive gap in understanding of what it takes to make something like the iphone or a laptop.

Sure, they might not do anything new or different that other competing products don't do also... but I don't think he understands that open source is a child's fantasy and in the real world NO ONE shares technology like that. So, even if you have 5 products made by 5 different companies that all do the same basic thing ALL FIVE COMPANIES had to invest in R&D to design and develop those products. Competing corporations are obviously not going to share technology with each other...

Not that I like Apple... I hate the company but their handheld products are nice, can't deny that.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 27, 2010
Not that I like Apple... I hate the company but their handheld products are nice, can't deny that.
Same here, but the Droid is starting to kick Apple around. I'm glad I backed Google, even though the phone is just a fancy spyware device.
_ilbud
not rated yet Aug 10, 2010
"open source is a child's fantasy and in the real world NO ONE shares technology like that"
That is such an uninformed ignorant and stupid statement. The gullible really aren't too bright.
"let us not forget that we still excel in the important areas of education, technology, individual freedoms, the arts, entertainment, elective government, our courts, natural resources, and yes, even our health care"
Only 20% of the US population can read at a 12th grade level. Individual freedom in the US means nothing, your phones are tapped, your e-mail is being read by your government. Health care is useless and overpriced in the US. US justice is a joke the most number of people in prison anywhere on the planet. State murder is legal, torture is policy. Yeah the US is a third world crimefest.