Simputer For Kerala Project

Thiruvananthapuram: | Updated: Nov 11 2003, 05:30am hrs
Keralas digital divide project Akshaya may use the cost-advantage of simputers, the hand-held computing device developed by Bangalore-based Encore Ltd.

The state IT top brass held discussions with the companys chairman Vinay Deshpande in Bangalore.

The Simputer team gave a presentation on using simputers on a wide variety of social and economic applications including e-commerce, healthcare and agricultural marketing. As Simputer is a low-cost personal mobile computer with multiple connectivity options, a computer e-literacy project like Akshaya could make good use of it, according to officials associated with the Kerala IT Mission.

An important feature of the simputer is the SmartCard Reader/Writer. The SmartCard is emerging as a credible delivery vehicle for financial transactions on the Internet and has become an important tool for electronic commerce. However, simputers might need customisation before Akshaya project could use it.

The simputer is targeted as a shared computing device for a local community of users. A local community such as the village panchayat or the village school, or a kiosk, or even a shopkeeper should be able to give this device out to individuals for a specific period of time and then pass it on to others in the community. This requires the device to be personalised for individual use on a changing basis.

It is designed to be modular and extensible, and based entirely on free software from the open source initiative. Its primary input is a touch-sensitive overlay on the LCD display panel. The simputer is based on GNU/Linux software technology.