WSJ writes on technology initiatives for the next markets and users:
The goal is…to dramatically broaden the spread of information technology to underdeveloped regions around the world. Companies and university researchers have launched a flurry of collaborative projects to design new computing and communications gadgets, some priced at $250 or less, to reach new users in India, China and other emerging economies.
The new brainstorming about the digital divide is partly inspired by technical breakthroughs in fields like wireless communications. But it also reflects a widening consensus that existing government and charitable efforts at technology transfer aren’t sufficient.
The efforts are based on a belief that technology developed for industrial countries doesn’t meet the needs of many poor regions, which grapple with problems such as power shortages and language differences.
Among the initiaties mentioned:
– UC, Berekeley’s ICT4B
– AMD’s 50×15 effort, which “takes its name from the goal of connecting 50% of the world’s population to the Internet by 2015, up from 10% today”
– Intel’s China Home Learning PC
– Raj Reddy’s PCtvt
– ITC’s e-Choupals