Vinny Lohan, winner of General Electric’s Alva Emerging Fellowship, is developing a new technology called OneBeep that will provide an effective and low-cost way to beam out daily lessons to children in remote areas with no access to internet.
A large percentage of Aakash Tablets will be supplied to students in the remote regions with no internet or any other method of information transfer. They are digitally disconnected and have no way of receiving new and updated information or native language content, meaning that they are unable to utilise the potential of the digital world.
OneBeep addresses this problem through its inexpensive and robust method to send digital content to these devices.
Using OneBeep software, any digital file can be converted to audio, which is then sent via radio waves. This can be received on any AM/FM radio, which passes it on to the laptop via an inexpensive audio cable. The file is then converted back to its original form once it has been received on the devices.
As every village has AM radios, you now have a low-cost way to beam out daily lessons, health material , etc, over long distances to thousands of devices.
To date, the greatest distance over which OneBeep has been able to successfully send and receive data is 100 km. Vinny is currently working on new algorithms and coding techniques so as to increase this distance to over 200 km.
Until internet is readily available to people in remote areas and they have access to information, technology such as OneBeep will be needed to fill the ever so widening gap.