Half a year ago the story about educational modular laptop Infinity, developed by One Education, a social enterprise with headquarters in Sydney, spread across Internet. The mission of One Education is to create and distribute affordable educational laptop devices to schools and underprivileged kids in developing countries. With the Infinity children will be able to use a single laptop/tablet throughout their school years by simply upgrading any part once it becomes outdated. According to Steven Burgess, the Infinity designer, the mission of One Education was “to create a system that was simple and durable enough for a 4-year-old, whilst possessing the ability to grow in power and functionality alongside the child is personal development.”
Recently we contacted Rangan Srikhanta, the man behind the idea of the Infinity, and got an update on its progress.
First of all, Rangan stated that the development team had completed the initial concept evaluation phase and was well into the hardware development stage. This is where the industrial design, mechanical and electrical engineering all meet. They have designed modules for screen, battery, core, camera, base and the hub – which tie everything together. The schematics for all the modules will be finalised and the PCB layout process will be completed by the end of July 2015. In mid to late August they expect to produce the first PCBs/prototypes.
The development team for the Infinity has approximately 20 members divided in small groups, which are involved in industrial design, electrical engineering, PCB layout engineering and firmware engineering. Some of the team members for the operating system/app development and overall product management are based in Sydney, Australia, but the rest are in India and China.
One Education has no sponsors among venture investors or tech companies. The company is small and nimble, which allows it to make design changes and choose the best components without fear of offending a potential partner whose capabilities may not be best for bringing the company’s vision to life at this early stage. In the past 7 years One Education raised over $21 million in funding from the Australian government, schools, corporations and donors – which allowed it to deliver over 50,000 computers to disadvantaged children. The residual funds are being used to develop the Infinity.
One Education is planning a crowdfunding campaign for the Infinity during September 2015. This will help to get the first devices into production by Q2 2016.
Several days ago the company re-launched its website www.one-education.org, where visitors can find out more information about the Infinity and other information relevant to One Education.