Sunday, May 18, 2014

Keepod USB: The electronic device that costs $ 7 and wants to change the world. Video.

Keepod USB: The electronic device that costs $ 7 and wants to change the world. Video.

Francisco De Jesùs.

USB flash drives are a simple and extremely useful technology we often take for granted.

But its importance could increase significantly thanks to Keepod USB , a memory capable of storing a complete operating system, you may download your desktop on any computer .

Its creators , Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi , claim that this system will help reduce the digital gap in developing countries.

A test in Kenya
In just six weeks, his idea has raised over $ 40,000 in funding through Indiegogo page to start a campaign to provide low-cost computing two-thirds of the world's population today have little or no access to technology.

Field testing of this system will be the slums of Nairobi in Kenya.

The median income of half a million people living in the Mathare district of the city is U.S. $ 2 a day.

Very few people in this area have access to a computer or internet, but Imbesi Bahar and want to change this with the USB Keepod .

With this USB will be able to use old and discarded computers , allowing the user to own your own "personal computer " with its own information , programs and settings , and for a price of just $ 7.

Thus, a common problem is avoided in such programs : the saturation of the computers used by many people when they keep their contents in a very limited hard drive.

The two partners expect about 150,000 people use the Keepod in Kenya , and for this LivInSlums were associated with a non-governmental organization operating in Mathare , and help distribute USB sticks to students and staff of the academy " WhyNot " .

As in other schools in East Africa , it uses textbooks and blackboards to teach. Just two years ago that the center has electricity.

Mathare Project
During a visit to the school in March, Bahar and Imbesi decided to buy a router to connect to the internet school .

His solution was to hang the router in a dunk backpack next to one of the two plugs of the school.

It looked like a makeshift solution, but that did not stop the kids shout of joy to know that the school was online.

They decided to then take five computers with no hard drive to school .

After taking a USB Keepod each child , they explained that the second hand computers run directly from the USB .

Any computer with a screen , keyboard and processor core works well with this USB device saves as the personal desktop settings on their own version of Google Android 4.4 .

One computer per person.
Each USB remembers desktop settings of its owner , as well as the keys and the websites visited.

It is capable of storing any file downloaded to your memory and 8GB program. The information can be encrypted and protected by a password that must be entered each time you connect to a unit .

"This makes it possible for anyone with a Keepod can use any computer and have the same experience ," says Bahar .

"Every child will see their own files and applications appear in exactly the same way every time , without having to remember all the keys ."

At school was palpable illusion of the students to see how old computers back to life .

The students stayed well past the time of the end of classes to explore and configure your new appliances .

Keepod is not a technology designed to generate profits , but the idea is to reach the point where it can finance itself.

The plan is that Bahar and local workers Imbesi buy USB drives , install the operating system some key applications , and then sell them for a tidy profit .

The final price would be $ 7 , with a profit of $ 2 per unit , which would help cover salaries and subsequent expansion of the project.

As explained , another added benefit of this project on the simple donation of computers is that if the owner of a Keepod unit becomes infected with a virus, not be able to infect the computer, and therefore will not affect others.

Learning to use technology.
Anyango Rita is one of the five people who Keepod trained to keep the project in Mathare .

He says he likes the way the system allows everyone to have the experience of owning your own computer.

But fears that some parents are tempted to market the devices to buy expensive foods like meat, not realizing its long-term potential .

And these small devices could be exchanged , or worse stolen , he says, if left unattended .

Tony Roberts, former chief executive of the nonprofit organization Computer Aid International also has concerns about the system.

Note that it would be too optimistic to put much faith in technology to improve education or make agriculture more efficient.

"In my experience it is always about how people use technology and not the technology itself," he says .

Still, the founders of Keepod plan and introduce it in India , Israel, southern Italy and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

keepod org via Ecuavisa and BBC Mundo

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