If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are not one of the 5 billion people who don’t currently have access to a personal computer. Computers, tablets, and smartphones have fundamentally changed how we do things, but the simple fact is that they’re too expensive for the majority of the world’s population.
That may be about to change, however, if this week’s Pick of the Crowd, Keepod, gets funded.
(Campaign ends soon (March 1, 2014 at 11:59pm PT) and as of press time, they need just $7,500 more to meet their goal. Contribute now at Indiegogo.com and help Keepod get funded.)
A USB operating system.
Keepod eliminates the need for personal computers by storing a person’s entire operating system on a USB drive that can be slipped into a pocket and carried with them. It’s an amazing, rare thing that makes my inner geek, environmentalist, and activist all very happy because it honestly has the potential to save lives, help the environment, and it’s just cool.
It seems so simple and perhaps that is why it’s totally brilliant. Divorcing software from hardware means that old, “non-functioning” computers can be rescued from landfills, re-furbished, and transformed into totally functional systems. It means that people and organizations who could never dream of buying a $1,200 Mac can now utilize technology to run their lives and businesses more efficiently, a potentially life-changing contribution.
(Campaign ends soon! Help Keepod reach their goal. Contribute now.)
Where do they want to launch it?
The team behind Keepod has already developed the technology but is currently seeking $38,000 to launch in a slum called Mathare, which is located in Nairobi, Kenya. They partnered with the LiveInSlums project there and plan to use the Keepods as a way to “amplify” the projects that this grassroots organization is already implementing.
Ways that Keepod will enhance the lives of people in the slum include:
- Providing refurbished computer and Keepod devices to the local school, the WhyNot Academy.
- Providing the technology to womens and human rights groups that are currently operating within the slum, giving them the tools to do research, make better printed materials, and plan activities as well as support their operation.
- Combatting the 60% HIV infection rate by keeping track of exams, creating educational materials, and organizing activities to promote health education.
- Establishing community hubs that will serve as centers for entrepreneurship, basically creating an incubator for the people who live in the slum as well as connecting them to the power of outside funding through sites like Indiegogo.
All of that for $38k. Not too shabby, is it?
But Mathare is just the first step.
The Keepod team wants to take their technology global, giving computer access to poor and low-income people worldwide. They’re asking for your help in doing so, and are offering Keepods as rewards for higher donations and that awesome “I did something good” feeling for the lower ones.
Tech is all too often the bad guy, creating more divisions than it heals, which is why projects like this are so incredible and so important. Technology, when done right, has the power to empower and if you’re going to donate to one thing this year, my vote is for Keepod.
The Keepod Indiegogo campaign ends soon (March 1, 2014 at 11:59pm PT) and as of press time, they need just $7,500 more to meet their goal. Spread technology and make a real difference by contributing now.