NTT launches mobile phone technology for hearing-challenged
NTT DoCoMo, Japan's premier mobile communications company has launched an unusual mobile receiver-microphone combo especially for the elderly people and those having hearing difficulties at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The ultra slim Bluetooth handset known as 'Sound Leaf Plus' weighs just 45 grams and works when pressed against the bone, just below the ear. Using a principle known as bone conduction, it sends sound vibrations to the auditory nerves through the cranial bones. Then it connects through the Bluetooth link or a hard wire to the cellular phone service. The device developed by NEC/Tokin included a high frequency switch that improved sound articulation. The device is the first consumer product in the industry that combines a bone-conduction technology with a telephone coil.
One-laptop project to debut in Maharashtra, India
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project has found its way to India. OLPC project is firstly going to be deployed in Maharashtra, India. Towards the end of February, around 500 XO laptops will arrive in various schools of the State. The laptops have been localised and come with the keyboard in Devanagari. So far, a few XO laptops had been given to school children of villages called Khairat in Raigadh. The pilot was undertaken by the Digital Bridge Foundation, an organisation comprising Indian volunteers supporting the OLPC in India.
UN-backed project to empower 20,000 poor rural families in Burkina Faso
A new United Nations supported project in Burkina Faso will help around 20,000 poor rural households bolster their crop production and incomes through improved irrigation. The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide an $11 loan to the Small-scale Irrigation and Water Management Project that will be carried out in six provinces in the South-West of the country. The project will kick off with an information, education and communication campaign. The project will also look for adding participants' ability to intensify and diversify crops as well as support marketing activities. The scheme will increase annual agriculture production by 4,700 tons of rice, 1,800 tons of vegetables, 314 tons of maize and 1,700 tons of bananas.
Byrraju Foundation and Satyam make tele-medicine available to millions
The Byrraju Foundation, non-profit organisation working the rural parts of Andhra Pradesh is working with Satyam Computer Services Ltd. to provide tele-electro cardiograms (ECGs) in the remotest region of the country. Under its programme, global health care practice has already covered over 3.5 million people of rural villages across India. Satyam is delivering high-quality services like healthcare, education, agriculture, and job training programme for villagers through the Byrraju Foundation's Ashwini Centres. Satyam is able to deliver a system with minimal communications and computing infrastructure. SN lnformatics, a technology alliance member in the project, provided its software for free. Initially, the service was provided in Jinnuru Village and has since spread to 30 of the Byrraju Foundation's 32 Ashwini centres.
MCX to support Microsoft's rural technology training programme
Multi-Commodity Exchange (MCX) of India has announced that the agency is going to support an ongoing computer literacy programme of Microsoft and Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) in rural Maharashtra, India. MCX has launched this social responsibility initiative to empower the youth and women of rural areas of the state with technology skills. More than 15,500 people have been trained and more than 24,000 people are using this service across 16. MCX's support will help in increasing the deployment of laptops and desktop computers, and empower the ongoing technology training and adoption efforts. The project aims to provide basic computer literacy to rural youth, farmers and women. ISAP is assisting in ground level implementation of this programme. They will install the laptops and desktop computers provided by MCX and other donors across all the centres for training.
Hughes signs deal with Comat Sign to provide broadband services at 10,000 kiosks across rural India
Hughes India has signed an agreement with Comat Technologies to supply ten thousand broadband satellite terminals with its nationwide HughesNet satellite services and applications to be delivered at rural business centres across multiple states in India. The Hughes and and Comat consortium will roll out its kiosks in Sikkim, Tripura and various parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttaranchal through a competitive bidding process for the Government of India's Community Services Centres. So far, Hughes has delivered two thousand terminals and working closely with Comat to ensure smooth deployment of the HughesNet Fusion Services at these rural centers in the five states.