More than half of the population in Bangladesh are illiterate and when we talk about digital solutions one needs to address this equation. An ambitious project has started in Bangladesh combining two popular concepts – cloud based computing, and multimedia contents in interactive tablet PCs ($100 hand-held communication devices). Amadeyr Could Limited (ACL) is the brainchild of four individuals – three businessmen and a lawyer who believe that being illiterate doesn’t mean that one should be uninformed as well.
Last June ACL started piloting the Digits To All (DTA) project in four neighborhoods of Nizmawna Thana in Gazipur district distributing more than 130 Tablet pcs to semi literate and illiterate people. The tablets had been customized with multimedia contents by ACL for them and they run on Google’s Android operating system. When a button is touched, it gives an audio cue such as: “Education” or “ Health” or “Agriculture”. ACL is also experimenting to connect these tablets to the global network through deployment of wireless mesh network (WMN) in those areas.
All contents in the cloud aims to be as audiovisual as possible to overcome the illiteracy barrier. The touch screen of the tablets can be operated by seeing pictures and hearing instructions given in local language. Currently most of the data of the cloud are being pulled from the National e-infocell.
Shayan S. Khan writes in the Dhaka Courier about the detail process:
The system was envisioned (and subsequently implemented during the pilot) as a “loop”, starting with content ranging from information on how to obtain a birth certificate to precautions against dengue fever uploaded on to the “Amadeyr Cloud” in the form of “apps”. The content is then accessed through “Amadeyr Tablets”- given free of charge to user groups, although ACL expects the purchase of the tablets to be financed by recipients’ usage of the devices.
To complete the loop, usage data is relayed back to the cloud, helping ACL to not only maintain the cloud, but also to keep expanding it through continuous customization to suit users’ wants and needs.
Watch here how people from the Nizmawna village use the tablet:
The challenge of the ACL team is to deploy more devices and develop and upload more contents onto the cloud for the users. You can read the updates and more from the project blog, Twitter & YouTube channel.