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Friday, October 21, 2005

Digital Inclusion Through Mobile and Wireless Technologies

Kevin Schofield points to Microsoft research's recognition of Digital inclusion as a key area of focus. Digital Inclusion means that computing must be affordable, accessible, and relevant. Novel approaches in computing technology have the potential for great impact in a range of areas, including education, healthcare, and economic development. The relevance that research projects can have in this area is significant, given that estimates of populations that can be positively affected by computing technologies fall within 2–4 billion people worldwide.The group has invited proposals to pursue research in the areas:
- Creative new infrastructures, form factors, and applications of mobile devices (which include mobile phones or embedded devices).
- Improve connectivity, particularly in environments without existing network infrastructures or with intermittent availability to networking and power.
- Challenges in wireless networks would be a relevant theme in this category. Design appropriate user interfaces addressing challenges in literacy and for novice users of technology.
- Focus on relevant technology application advancements, taking into account the technology issues described in the three points above, which will provide benefits in such areas as health, education, and commerce.

I like the introduction which recognises that the power of computing and information technology must be, and can be, extended beyond its traditional user base to reach people who until now have not had access to such technology. Being digitally connected has become ever more critical to economic, educational, and social advancement. “Digital Inclusion” describes the goal of expanding the capabilities of computing technology worldwide to better serve social and economic challenges of underserved communities, both rural and urban.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"