Aakash – a synonym of most budget-friendly tablet on earth, has managed to find success at a North Carolina summer camp for poorer children in the US and has been dubbed as a game-changer for education industry.
Designed and developed by a UK based company – DataWind – for India’s Human Resource Development (HRD) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ministries the sub-$50 tablet didn’t find much success in India following a series of delays and controversies. However, the tablet has managed to garner attention of over a dozen other countries including the US where a recent 100-tablet project has enabled kids of families belonging to the lower-income group to prepare themselves for the next year’s curriculum.
Chris Evans, a software entrepreneur and a board member of Communities in Schools (CIS), funded 100 tablets for the summer camps run by CIS in North Carolina. Evans sees Aakash as an affordable way to keep kids engaged with studies as well as allow them to keep pace with other richer who already have smartphones and tablets at their disposal.
The tablets shipped for the summer camp have been loaded with apps developed by a New York-based company called Mango Learning. The company has provided access to their entire suite of apps as well as management and evaluation system for tracking student progress for this particular project.
Aakash has managed to garner attention in countries like Mexico, Afghanistan over half a dozen African countries and most of them are being promoted by NGOs, government and UN agencies.
A 3G version of the Ubislate popped up at the FCC in the first week of August indicating that DataWind may probably be looking to commercially launch the device in the US.