One Videoconference System per Child

Did you see this in the Wainhouse Research Bulletin a few weeks ago? Be sure to click the link to see the picture!

MIT Launches One Videoconferencing System per Child (OVPC) Nicholas Nery of The Manchurian Institute of Technology thinks everyone in the world should have a videoconferencing system.
The world famous professor, author, researcher, and diplomat has launched the non-profit OVPC organization to design, manufacture, and distribute the world’s most affordable videoconferencing system, priced at less than $100 and aimed at youngsters in the developing world. With moisture-resistant seals and a crash-proof hard drive, combined with built-in WiFi, colorful cables and connectors, solar panels for mobility and power generation in remote areas, and a high definition camera, this hardly-no-frills system supports 720p video and Siren-14 stereo audio. Prototypes of the SIP-based, H.264-compliant device are due to ship in Q4-08.
The company is concentrating on serving populations in underdeveloped and/or war-torn regions of Western Africa, South East Asia, and Texas.

Texas at the end of the paragraph surprised me. If any of you are involved, please comment and tell us more about it!

There’s also an interesting commentary on this development on the OLPC News site. I hope that those involved can imagine more instructional educationally engaging experiences besides just this:

Imagine entire country’s classrooms, full of children, in a massive multiplayer online conference.

Good that someone’s thinking about the bandwidth implications too:

I just hope that SES Global can handle all that data traffic on its donated bandwidth or there will be a lot of disappointed children (and adults).

So far, we’re still working on access to videoconferencing in each school. One of my superintendents wanted to know how to get VC in all the classrooms, even though it’s highly unlikely (at their present use rate) that they’ll ever do more than one VC at a time. Do you see a time in the future when every classroom at least has VC? Do you think the vendors will ever make desktop VC low cost that has audio designed for a classroom and maybe camera presets too? is that too much to ask for a low cost desktop system? What do you think?

0 replies on “One Videoconference System per Child”

  1. “…The company is concentrating on serving populations in underdeveloped and/or war-torn regions of Western Africa, South East Asia, and Texas.”

    I couldn’t really read all of the post because I am laughing so hard trying to figure out if we are underdeveloped or war-torn!

    When all vc is as easy as Skype is when we will have it everywhere! I have a draft post about this that I will post tomorrow.

  2. Heather – it’s interesting, because while the Wainhouse one is probably a joke, the other link to the OLPC News site seems to be serious…. so still something to think about!

  3. That is so funny! I thought I had seen them all. MoBuzz showed the one that really made me laugh and then Molly Wood’s rant on the Rick Roll was pretty good on The Buzz Report. Veronica Belmont actually included the Rick Roll with her Steve Job’s interview. Ahh…..good stuff. Now, I am thinking about what to do for next year.

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