Questions, if you are a techie..

The pace at which devices get smarter and more intelligent is amazing. The mobile phone handset has become almost like a full fledged personal computer, with features added up in every generation, the transformation is from a mere Voice/Data communicator to a device for Watching TV, or controlling your house hold devices using a Palmtop kind of thing remotely etc.The network is converging showing a clear sign-A future with nearly all the voice, data and other types of media integrated and served together.

Now, in a country like ours who will be able to buy these kinds of new generation gadgets? What kind of applications they can find for these smart devices in our (leave IT guys for the time being) lives?
Both the service providers and gadget manufactures will be looking for ways to develop their products much more cost effectively, thereby increasing their reach. We do have handsets spreading out in a wide range, with costs affordable to a common man.

When it comes to something more than just a mobile handset, the digital divide remains as a fact. I feel this issue is going to become severe in a society where access to information and keeping information is going to be possible only by a few people who can enjoy the benefits of an IT revolution with their purchasing power.
What about the people who are left away, that may lead to a knowledge divide?

Yes, (increased volume ;)), So guys, what about affordable computing?

This leads to another interesting question, what will a common man do with a 'computer'? How do devices like "simputer" will become more effective?

Considering the small and medium scale industries, and the agricultural sector, where can we bring in Automation and Effective Information Management, affordably? Running a business will be more effective, both the producer and consumer can enjoy the advantages like faster processing (be it any field), can get updates on various levels of information in the system, be it present status of my application, how much due one has to pay ....goes like that.
From what I have seen, some of such things would be:

  • A bus conductor using Electronic Billing Machine that prints out tickets, makes his work much easier..

  • An electronic Voting Machine, that makes our fundamental process of democracy much more easy,not only for the voters. but bigtime for those who Count the votes!! :)

  • Information kiosks found at Railways Stations, Bus Stations and many other places..

  • A BESCOM 24x7 electricity bill payment counter..

  • And lot more...

All these are designed for a specific usage, and are more of a traditional embedded system.But, what will be the uses of a general purpose computer affordable to the masses?
Let us discuss!