Communication Devices Of The Future
If we are to accept that the world economy is now fully dependent upon the information economy, then it stands to reason that those people who are left out of the global information network are doomed an endless cycle of poverty. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab has designed a fully functional laptop computer that can be sold for $100 so that children in poor or developing nations can get access to the Internet. To keep costs down, the laptop will use a $35 dual-mode display of the kind found in cheap DVD players, a 500-megahertz processor, a slimmed-down operating system, and only 1 gigabyte of storage. It can be plugged into a wall outlet or charged by a crank-driven battery, and it will connect to the Internet via a wireless card. To be sure, these laptops are not going to be playing Quake 4 anytime soon, but it could give disadvantaged kids a shot at taking part in the digital community. MIT hopes to have a working prototype by November 2005 and production units shipping to government education ministries by the end of 2006.