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Video: UNICEF-developed ‘Digital Drum’ provides information access to isolated communities

October 16, 2011  »  VideoNo Comment

Although perhaps 10% of Ugandans have Internet access, the number is even lower for rural communities. And, the majority of Ugandans live in rural areas. Access to information in these isolated communities poses a formidable challenge.

In effort to connect the most rural areas of the world – communities often without full-time teachers – UNICEF has developed the rugged solar powered computer. The kiosk is made from locally available materials like oil drums that are cut and welded. A computer or two, along with monitors and solar panel, are then attached. The result is a local, reliable, and durable solution for information access. Each drum comes with pre-loaded content to ease web browsing, e-learning, and emailing efforts.

UNICEF describes the physical form as such:

Consisting of low-cost oil drums welded together, waterproof keyboards, solar panels, and low-power laptops, the durable design ensures sustainability, and with its preloaded content dealing with health and education, the drums will serve as veritable information portals.”

Interestingly, the ‘Digital Drum’ will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the United Nations in New York. The idea is to showcase simple designs that bring information to under-served areas of the world.