Document Details

Title MIT’s Media Lab Asia Plans to Purchase 200 Simputers
Author The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education


The first commercial order for the Simputer may come from MIT’s Media Lab Asia, based in Mumbai, India. The Simputer is an innovative handheld computer, developed in India and designed to reach the Indian masses. Key features include a Linux operating system, 32MB memory, an Internet browser, wireless modem, e-mail, and an MP3 player. The Simputer also has the ability to convert text into sound and to enable non-literate data entry/ commands. The Simputer Trust have developed a bespoke programming language- IML (Information Mark-Up Language, based on the emerging standard of XML)- that can read English text, convert it into a variety of local languages (Hindi, Kannada and Tamil at present) and then convert text into speech (using a databank of 1200 sounds, said to be adequate for most languages). This enables non-literate users to search the Internet. The developers say it will be easy to apply the same basic principles to any other language. Earlier this year, the Observatory featured a news story on the similar Kaii handheld computer, also developed in India.

Date 11/04/2002
Region(s) North America
Countries United States
Theme(s) Technology
Topic(s) E-learning Delivery

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