Monday, May 15 • 11:45 - 12:25
Solar Media Backpack: Bringing multimedia to low-resource settings LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Imagine a remote, rural daycare or a school in Uganda, where poor road conditions, lack of infrastructure and electricity and weak technical skills prevent educators from using basic multimedia, such as projectors or computers as part of their teaching.

Now imagine a portable media center that does not rely on grid electricity, can be easily transported by foot, bike or motorcycle, comes with every piece of wire and equipment the user needs and is designed to be simple enough for even a novice user to handle. It can showcase videos, slide shows, presentations, and can also function as a Wi-Fi hub or a computer. It can be used to charge other devices, and works on solar energy.

This is the Solar Media Backpack (SMB), a rugged, portable and solar-powered multimedia center designed for remote and resource-scarce settings, developed by Plan International and a UK-based company Aleutia. It includes loud speakers, LED projector showing content from internal storage, folding solar panel and integrated Windows computer and/or external media - all packaged neatly inside a Pelican backpack, which also functions as the de-facto tripod for the projector. The SMB has been specifically designed to be easy to use so that even a person with little or no previous experience with technology can learn to operate it. A computer stick, keyboard and a mouse can be attached, making the SMB into a fully functioning computer. It can also serve as a Wi-Fi hub, and users can recharge their own devices like mobile phones from the SMB.

The SMB can be adapted for any setting, such as schools, community meetings, youth centers, health clinics, and so forth. The possibilities are limitless! The design is open source, and specs will be made available so that others can take the design and modify it to their own needs.

This presentation will introduce the SMB unit in practice, tell a bit about the process of designing & testing it as well as dig into practical examples how it has been used in the field in Plan's programmes.

avatar for Bowden Percival

Bowden Percival

Digital Development Asia Regional Manager, Plan International
Sitting at the junction of technology and development, Bo Percival is a self-proclaimed ‘giant nerd’. Bo has worked extensively in digital development internationally in Education, HIV, LGBT rights, Youth Development and WASH. Bo has a Ba. in economics and marketing and is currently... Read More →

Monday May 15, 2017 11:45 - 12:25 IST