Technology to Fight the Digital Divide

As Prof. Mike McKean showed us all the interesting statistics on the changing place of laptops and personal computer and the emerging prominence of tablets and phones, I thought about a senior year project I did on Africa.

What if the move toward the cheaper, smaller devices for Internet access can help alleviate the effects of the digital divide in less developed countries?

Coverage would probably still be a problem – but the affordability of these devices could revolutionize people’s access to information.

Globally, some effects of the accessibility of the Internet from mobile devices can already be seen – organization of the revolution in Egypt was partially facilitated by it.

Then McKean showed us his closing video about the possible future of technology. A world where even the coffee cup is digital and displays information, your newspaper is like the Daily Prophet (the Harry Potter reference definitely made my day) and you can easily transfer digital information from the wall of your house to the paper and manipulate it with intuitive hand gestures.

McKean noted that the guy in the video could do this because he was an upper-middle class, white male living in a wealthy country… So it’s not like everyone will be able to access all of the wonders of technology immediately, but these devices are constantly becoming more affordable.


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