Developed by research teams at the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science, India recently unveiled a 1,500 rupee touchscreen tablet prototype, equivalent to $35 US dollars. This price encompasses all of the hardware, including the motherboard, processor, 2GB memory, wireless card, display, as well as the software which will be Linux-based.
This extremely affordable iPad-like laptop is designed for students and is expected to hit markets by early 2011. The low price is made possible largely to decreasing hardware costs and free open source software like Linux and cloud-based applications. The touchscreen computing device will feature a built-in word processor, web browser, and videoconferencing capabilities. In addition, it will have the ability to run on solar power. The device will not have any internal storage and will completely rely on cloud-based applications and optional external memory cards.
The breakthrough is part of the National Mission on Education’s goal of ensuring every student in India is connected. The Indian government plans to bring broadband internet to 25,000 colleges in India in an effort to promote learning and significantly increase their 63% literacy rate. One million of these computers are expected to be rolled out to university students in 2011 and later expanded to primary and secondary schools. There is also a goal of bringing down the price to $20 and then ultimately to $10.