To invest in the development of accessible, up-to-date, and inexpensive network devices for developing countries which will dramatically cut current power consumption requirements and the need for on-site technical support. The project will address the issues of untenable power consumption demands of the current personal computer and a lack of technical support capabilities in remote locations or developing nations. By lowering the power consumption needs, ultimately solar and other power sources will be sufficient to power simple end-user devices. By eliminating the need for on-site support, personal computing capabilities can proliferate at a much faster rate. The implementation strategy involves working with major technology companies in the U.S. (including Microsoft, AMD, Citrix, AT&T, Cisco, and others) to develop and integrate the pieces necessary for a functional end-to-end system.
Personal computers are valuable tools for education and health care, but the power requirements and cost of maintenance (software and hardware) make deployment in developing nations often impractical except in small numbers. At the same time, high bandwidth cellular networks are proliferating around the world at a rapid rate. These factors enable a new approach.
With the resources of Desktone, Inc, Eric Pulier commits to achieving a production-ready solution that works in a practical context in schools or hospital environments via satellite, on broadband cellular, or other available networks. These methods will create access to global communication networks in the developing world while cutting 70% of power consumption. The inspiration for this commitment stemmed from conversations during the 2006 CGI Annual Meeting, where Mr. Pulier was startled to learn that so many developing countries have sufficient wireless bandwidth to support such a system, even as electricity and educational resources are spotty or non-existent. It became clear to Mr. Pulier that if a low cost device could harness the power of the networks and remotely access computing resources delivered as a service, many of these problems could be solved.
The project will be deemed a success if a working prototype can be completed before June 30, 2007 that meets the following two criteria: 70% decrease in power consumption per user; and a per user purchase & maintenance cost that is 50% lower than can be achieved with today's personal computers. This project will aim to identify a government of a developing nation that will enable the trial roll out of the technology.
Partnership opportunities for the Desktop Dialtone project are available as follows:
· Representatives of countries interested in a low cost, low power network computing solution could be helpful in guiding project requirements, setting priorities, and ensuring that the solution is practical in its conception. Of particular interest are partners in Africa (initially), as well as India and China at later stages of the project.
· Technology partners who are willing to collaborate by contributing technical knowledge and/or components of the solution.
· Airlines willing to contribute passage for project participants who partake in on-site trials in Africa or other countries.
· Software companies who have applications that they believe could serve the population this project aims to reach, including educational software to expert systems.
· Telcos or other bandwidth providers who can collaborate on the project.
· Hosting facilities in developing nations who can collaborate on the project.