Access to computer education could be revolutionised by a sustainable energy approach to personal computing.

Rice University has adopted a high-tech, sustainable energy solution to the problem of how to bring computing to the 100 million Indian school children who are without electricity. They have designed the I-Slate tablet PC which incorporates revolutionary microchips that require a fraction of the power currently required of computers. This advance will enable the I-Slate to be powered by solar panels of a similar power to those found in hand held calculators.

The prototype is currently being tested by groups of school children aged 10 – 13, many of whom had never seen or used a computer before. In addition to representing a groundbreaking educational initiative, this project may also signal a moment where an emergent technology–in this case the tablet–leapfrogs over traditional personal computing platforms, the same way that the use of cellphones did across the African continent.

This content is available for Basic Members.
Already a member, log in