e-Infrastruture, Finalists 2012
Thinvent’s solar computing innovation, started in 20011, enables the use of computers in areas without electricity. The easy to use and low-maintenance computers take e-governance and e-education to the far corners of the country and even to the geographicallymost secluded regions. The product comprises of low-power computers that are energyefficient and cost optimized and devoid of any moving parts.These computers are poweredby DC-UPS.The idea is that traditional UPS invert DC power from solar panels and storagebatteries to AC, which is then rectified inside a computer SMPS. The DC-only UPS used isefficient, in a solid-state, and also eliminates the harmonic noise of AC. The DC-UPS optimized power distribution operates in a way that solar power is fed into the computer,printer, display and other computing load.Any excess power is used to charge the batteryfor night time use.AC power, when available, is also used to run the computers and chargebattery, but solar power is always prioritized.The initiative has successfully demonstratedcomputers running for more than 18 hours from a single car battery using the technology.
TxtWeb is an easy-to-use text-based app platform launched in January2011.With txtWeb one can create, discover and access internet and txtWeb-only content/servicesjust by texting keywords (very much like entering domain names into internet browsers)to one national number, which is 92433 42000 for India. TxtWeb is a global platformwhere anyone with a mobile phone can create, discover and consume internet and txtWeb-only content and services.These applications are created by an open community of publishers, developers and businesses (which can be anyone), and can includeWikipedia content, local market prices, government programs,financial literacy tips andmany others. For a user txtWeb is as an SMS-based browser, but much more accessiblethan web-browsers on computers since anyone with a simple feature phone can use itand it directly impacts the lives of its users, including government programs, job andcareer services, news, health information and services, educational resources, market prices, and weather information services along with many other information usuallyfound on the internet, but not accessible with simple feature phones until now.
The aim of the project started in 2011 is to create a low cost device that bridges the digital divide in the world and to create a platform which encourages the building of a sustainable eco-system to make internet relevant in the lives of people who have been left out till now. More specifically, to build a series of very low cost Android devices with a perfect balance for affordability, performance and usability and create a custom platform to enable a sustainable business model of apps and services for the developing world.The developing world still does not have high speed internet infrastructure available atany place which means a solution needs to be created which works on existing GPRS network and uses innovations in hardware and software to solve this problem. In terms ofhardware multiple models of low cost Android devices (Ranging from MRP of Rs. 2499 toRs. 4999) are applied and the software support comes in the form of Android OS withfree preinstalled apps customized to students and first time users demographic in developing countries.