The third iteration of ultra-low cost tablet education-centric Aakash is already in the pipeline. The Indian Institute Of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) is busy developing newer apps & innovations for the same.
The Aakash Project meant to enhance the education delivery & absorption standards of India is perhaps now being outfitted to compete with mainstream tablets. This appears to be the case after Deepak B. Phatak, committee member and a professor in IIT- Bombay’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering said, “It could also have a SIM card slot so that people can use it as a communication device”.
Currently though, the primary agenda of the IIT-B teams seems to be ensuring that the entire tablet is as indigenous as possible & add multiple vendors to have price & quality assurance. A while ago, its original manufacturer Datawind was accused of not making the tablet in India & simply rebranding tablets made by few Chinese vendors. This had sparked some patriotic debate & we can’t help but think there seems to some connection about the core restructuring & this argument.
What will Aakash 3 have? With a tender to be released in February, the Government hopes to churn out 50 Lakh tablets in the upcoming phase of production. Currently, over 250 Colleges in India have been distributed Aakash2 tablets. Based on the feedback, the IIT will incorporate newer ways to use the device. Some of the usages being mooted are the ability to check the pulse rate. Additionally, there are plans to deploy a wide distribution & service network to ensure local reparability. Since Aakash 2 already has WiFi, software upgradability is not an issue at all.
Aakash 2 was a much needed improvement over the first release & since then the manufacturer & the Government seems to have understood the need to incorporate good processors, battery & capacitive screens to make sure the tablet lives up to its potential of revolutionizing the Indian Education. Now they are discussing the possibility of supporting both Linux and Android operating systems. Do you think that’s a wise idea?
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