An Israeli start-up is embarking on what could be one of the most important tech projects to ever hit the developing world, it believes. Beginning next month, hundreds of kids and adults in Mathare, located in Nairobi, Kenya – one of the world’s worst slums – will be joining the world’s “digital elite,” with computing devices that will allow them to use the latest software, access the Internet, and develop the skills needed for success in tomorrow’s world.
And it will only cost seven dollars a head, said Philipp Pfeffer, Brand Manager for Keepod, the “social enterprise” company behind the Unite for Mathare Project.
“Seventy percent of the world’s population doesn’t have access to a computer of any kind,” said Pfeffer. “Keepod has developed a way to bridge that digital divide, in Africa and all over the world – not by buying everyone a laptop, but by supplying them with an operating system, software, and storage on USB ‘disk on key’ flash drives.”
Keepod has developed a Linux-based operating system that can act as a portable hard drive by plugging it into the USB port of any recent PC (going back about 8 years, said Pfeffer). “For the first time, we are separating the ‘brains’ of the computer from the hardware, allowing users to take their ‘computers’ with them on a small, cheap device that will enable them to keep their data safe, secure, and accessible,” he said.