Datawind keen on mobile connectivity for new AakashAuthor : Abhigna December 31, 2012 0
BANGALORE, INDIA: The developers behind the low-cost tablet Aakash are planning to launch the updated version of Aakash, Aakash 3, with a SIM card slot, and many more exciting apps.
Powered by Android operating system, the previous version of Aakash tablets supported only Wi-Fi connectivity. Now, with the updated version, Aakash 3 aims to address the need for on-the-go connectivity by supporting SIM card. With this facilitation, the low-cost tablet can also be used as a communication device.
According to reports, the third version of Aakash is expected to release in February, with the same price band. Going by the last tender, Aakash tablet costed government Rs. 2,263 per unit. After the announcement of 50 percent subsidy on the tablet for students, its final cost was Rs. 1,130.
Recently, Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal had announced that the next version of Aakash would come with Skype application embedded in it.
Although Sibal didn’t make any announcement on Aakash 3, the minister said, the Aakash tablet will be a game changer for the world.
According to the committee engaged in developing the third version of Aakash, the endeavour will be to make the product as indigenous as possible and involve multiple vendors.
“Our ultimate aim is to imbibe the usage of tablets in the education system and create an ecosystem for this,” said Deepak B. Phatak, committee member and professor in IIT- Bombay’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
According to Phatak, computer giants world over are amazed with the device and there is a keen interest among several vendors to participate in this venture.
Aakash 3 will have a faster processor supporting both Linux and Android operating systems and come with advanced memory, he said.
The government of India said recently that it has plans to create R&D fund in India for the cheapest tablet, where it plans to contribute for the latest development and also plans set up chip manufacturing unit.
The ministry’s National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) plans to produce 100,000 Aakash 3 tablets by March 2013. Over 40 such tablets would be given to each of 250 colleges already identified on a pilot basis.
IIT-Bombay has, however, delivered hands-on training to more than 10,000 teachers, so far. With interest from many vendors worldwide, the MHRD will rollout global tender in February, although it will stick to indigenous manufacturing.