Handheld innovators challenged

By   |  September 13, 2004

Non-profit organisation Bridges.org has launched a competition to support innovative ground level initiatives in South Africa that want to use handheld devices to improve people\’s lives. A total of 120 Hewlett Packard H4150 iPAQs will be given to up to ten winning organisations that demonstrate a clear strategy to harness the power of handhelds for social or economic development. The devices were donated by Hewlett Packard (HP) after being used by delegates at the World Economic Forum\’s annual meeting in Davos earlier this year.

Bridges.org is looking for projects that use handhelds to fulfil local needs in local ways. Winners will be used as case study examples to illustrate how these devices can open the door for Africans to gain the benefits offered by ICT.

Bridges.org executive director Teresa Peters says \”HP and their partners have provided us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate how handheld devices can be used for socio-economic development. The competition will enable promising projects to try out technology that might otherwise be out of reach to them. Handhelds have many advantages when compared to traditional desktop computers – yet they are largely being ignored in initiatives aiming to bridge the digital divide. We want to change that.\”

To enter the competition, organisations are invited to outline a project idea that would make use of up to 35 iPAQs. Small businesses, public sector organisations (schools, hospitals, clinics, etc.), NGOs, and community organisations are encouraged to enter. The deadline for entries is 8 October 2004. For full guidelines and more background information please see www.bridges.org/ipaq_competition/

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