Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi, the creators of a simple direct booting OS on a USB stick called Keepod plan on changing the world for many.
On a recent trip to Nairobi Bahar and Imbesi visited the WhyNot Academy. The school still used chalkboards and textbooks to help teach the students. It was just two years ago that the school was able to tap into the cities limited power grid. While these children have next to nothing, especially by American standards, they are extremely eager to learn.
On their visit Bahar and Imbesi were able to create a makeshift network of sorts. The BBC reports that they hung a router from a carrier bag on the wall next to one of the two outlets in the entire school. Once the router was hooked up and powered on, the power of their device, the Keepod, came to life. Barhar and Imbesi brought five old laptops with the hard drives gutted, to the school and allowed the children to get onto the net.
Keepod allows any old, discarded computer to boot directly from the USB stick and get onto the wireless network.
Previous attempts to repurpose old computer equipment in emerging countries ended up failing. One of the main reasons was because so much bloatware and other programs quickly bogged down the old equipment making it nearly impossible to get on the net.
Keepod addresses this problem because each user gets their own Keepod and it stores their account information, files and settings onto the USB stick directly. Basically making the USB stick a mini computer of sorts, using the existing computer for monitor, keyboard and mouse. The OS on the Keepod is as simple to use as a smartphone, it’s based on the Android operating system.
After the initial exposure to the Keepod devices the class stayed late after school to explore the internet and the world around them.
Since that trip Bahar and Imbesi have raised over $40,000 on Indiegogo and hope to use that money to get 150,000 people in the Mathare district of Nairobi onto the Keepod system. The average income in Mathare equates to about $2 per day, Keepod will make an incredible difference in the lives of the children and the townspeople who otherwise would never have access to computers and the internet.
Find out more about Keepod here at keepod.org