Three years ago, the IT industry was shocked with a radical idea – a “$100 laptop” designed specifically for education in the developing world. Price would be low and yet quality high, through innovative design mixed with low-cost components, and sales would be focused exclusively on the developing world.
This heretical bombast upset the longstanding computer manufacturing tradition to keep adding functions to maintain high prices in the developed world, while ignoring the developing world. While the revolution was lead by One Laptop Per Child and its visionary founder, Nicholas Negroponte, we now have a whole plethora of revolutionaries – from the upstart Asus to the goliath Intel – who are developing 4P Computers.
4P Computing is a new class of appropriate technology – computing power, performance, portability, and price specificity designed for the realities and markets of the developing world.
Now join Wayan Vota, an expert on ICT in the developing world, in an overview of this revolution, the resulting 4PC’s, and their impact on the whole information and communication technology industry:
For the July Technology Salon, we’re returning to the cellular technology world, with a twist. We’ll be discussing mobile banking, m-Banking, but we’ll move beyond the handsets and the hype to discuss the legal frameworks required to make it a reality.
In some countries, text messages cannot be used as evidence in court – a problem if that’s all you have to show for a money transfer. In other regions, cross-border and multi-currency transactions is the domain of banks, not mobile operators. In either situation or more, what is the development community’s response to facilitate m-Banking?
Please join Michael Tetelman of AED, and Ann Casanova of CARANA, at the UN Foundation headquarters for a vibrant discussion of their work in overcoming legal and regulatory barriers to make local and intra-regional m-Banking a reality in the developing world.
With the plethora of new 4PC’s (computer power, performance, price, and portability perfectly suited for the developing world), coming out of Computex this year, you might be wondering who is the current market leader. Personally, I would have to say its Asus with its popular Eee PC line.
Now that may surprise those that know me as a One Laptop Per Child fanboy, but as I told the Economist in its article “The rise of the low-cost laptop“:
By raising the very possibility of a $100 laptop, the XO presented the industry with a challenge. Wayan Vota, founder of OLPCNews.com, an independent website that follows the project, calls the XO a “harbinger of an entirely new class of computers”.
As such a harbinger, OLPC took the concept of 4P Computing, first conceptualized by the Simputer, and made it a practical reality with the XO laptop. But in the many missteps we chronicled on OLPC News, it never really commercialized its lead.