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TMCNet:  Solar-powered desktop designed for Africa [ITWeb]

[July 28, 2014]

Solar-powered desktop designed for Africa [ITWeb]

(ITWeb Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Capsule Technologies looks to tap into SA's solar energy potential.

Cape Town-based company Capsule Technologies has targeted South Africa's rural and under serviced communities as it brings a solar-powered desktop computer to the local market.  According to the company, The IMPI Mk1 desktop was conceptualized as part of the City of Cape Town's designation as the World Design Capital (WDC). The biennial initiative highlights the accomplishments of cities that "leverage design as a tool to improve the social, cultural and economic life".  The computer is designed for low or scarce energy environments and operates with 20 Watts of electricity, while it can also plug into a solar panel. It runs the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and uses Intel CPU architecture.  Megan Verkuil, director of Capsule Technologies, says the company was selected as a recognized ICT project for WDC, which helped the development process for the IMPI Mk1.  She says the company has partnered with non-government organisations (NGOs) in the Western Cape as part of a bid to drive engagement and familiarity with the product. "What we realised is that you can't just give it to people without much initial. You need to have a support structure and that's why we're working with NGOs".  According to Capsule Technologies, the desktop's introduction to the market comes in the wake of months of research and development. "While it can currently connect to a solar panel, we are looking towards to have a solar-powered battery," notes Verkuil.  "Want to see how people engage with it first, before we spend lots of money on developing that additional aspect".  The retail price for the IMPI K1 is R3 399 on the Capsule Technologies store (http://www.capsule-sa.co.za/store/), while Verkuil adds that the company aims to have it available from other retailers by the end of this year.


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