What hardware stands the best chance of success?

With education software that has proven to teach literacy and numeracy, we must determine what hardware device this software will live on.

Should it be on a durable smartphone?

Should it be on a durable tablet?

Should it be on a computer?

My previous job was a director of technology at https://worldreader.org and we looked at this question quite a bit.

**The target markets are very price sensitive. **

While in the US school districts can afford $200+ chromebooks or even iPads, these are out of reach for most schools in Africa, India, etc.

So a 7 inch Android tablet with a case is probably the best solution.

  • Tablets are very durable. They have no moving parts.
  • They’re a fine size for young children
  • Even a cheap tablet can run most educational software and play videos.
  • Most adults in these countries already run Android on their phone, so the UI is familiar

These should be sourced locally from a reputable vendor. Importing devices is often a pain since you have to deal with taxes and often bureaucratic delays. Also, resist the temptation to buy really cheap hardware from China on Ali-Baba, or similar sites. They’ll often cut corners in the electronics to achieve the rock-bottom prices.
In my experience, expect to pay $70-$100/tablet, but it obviously depends on your location.

I would also be inclined to order a few extra tablets as backups.

As always, get your hardware, install the software and field test everything.

I agree, the main idea is to make the children use their cellular phones

We also believe a 7-inch dedicated device is the way to go for many contexts. Take a look at our onetab device and it’s hardware specs. Screen and charging connector are usually the main points of failure.


@jamie Have you found a cost-effective way to handle data collection from the onetab devices? What happens when the SIM card’s data traffic reaches the MB/GB limit? Who is responsible for maintaining an active Internet connection?

So let’s say I want to make this happen in Honduras, I need to figure out how many tablets we need, then find the resources for them? Then we just download the software?

@jo_xprize. We are using local SIMs with auto-topup data bundles managed centrally. There are plenty of ‘M2M’ global SIMs that could be used for this purpose instead - but they are expensive.
It depends on the type and volume of monitoring data. Logging data is usually highly compressible and you can send only delta updates .
For local area deployments (e.g. a refugee camp, or entire town) an LPWAN technology such as LoRA would be ideal (cheap, low-power). But that’s assuming a tablet exists with the necessary hardware. Otherwise, dongles…

@mehandal Hi, Maria. If you plan on providing access to children speaking Spanish as their mother tongue, we first need to localize the software into Spanish. Currently only English and Swahili versions are available for download.

Pardon my ignorance :slight_smile: How or what does it take to localize the software into Spanish?

@mehandal @jo_xprize I know one of our finalist teams, CCI (http://cciny.net/) was looking into creating a Spanish language version and piloting in Latin America. Let me see if I can connect you.

I contacted them, hope I hear from them. I have tried to contact Onebillion but I have had no reply. I just contacted CCI . I have people in Honduras very interested in doing this, they are very resourceful. I keep insisting but do not see much interest. Please if any of the companies is interested let me know. Thank you

Hi @daniel_miller ! I think the simple answer even though it might be a cop out is all of them should have access. Whatever form of hardware that anyone can get there hands on across the world should be able to have access to the knowledge. Of course, the app might run smoother on some hardware devices then others. But allowing it to be accessible on all hardware devices I think is the fairest/ most effective method.