UTCS FACULTY CANDIDATE: Tapan Parikh University of Washington Designing Appropriate Computing Technologies for the Rural Developing World ACES 2.302 Thursday April 19 2007 at 11:00 a.m.

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Date: 
Apr 19, 2007 11:00am - 12:00pm

There is a signup schedule for this event.
<

br>Speaker Name/Affiliation: Tapan Parikh University of Washington

Date/Time: Thursday April 19 2007 11:00 a.m. - Noon

Location:

ACES 2.302

Host: Peter Stone

Talk Title: Designing Appropri

ate Computing Technologies
for the Rural Developing World

Talk Abstract:

Recent history has seen an increase in dispar

ity between
the rich and poor regions of the world. Disproportionate <

br>access to information is both a symptom and a factor
contributing to
this disparity. People living in the
rural developing world have many
information needs
that could but are not being met by information technology. Technology for this context must be
low-cost accessible

and appropriate given the local
infrastructure including conditions of

intermittent
power and connectivity. In this talk I describe my
e

xperiences developing CAM - a toolkit for mobile
phone data collection

for the rural developing world.
Designing technologies for an unfamili

ar context
requires understanding the needs and capabilities
of pot

ential users. Drawing from the results of
an extended design study con

ducted with microfinance
group members in rural India (many of whom are

semi-literate or illiterate) I outline a set of
user interface de

signguidelines for accessibility
to such users. The results of thisstu

dy are used
to inform the design of CAM a mobile phone
application

toolkit including support for
paper-based interaction; multimedia inpu

t and
output; and disconnected operation. I provide
evidence of C

AM''s usability breadth and real-world
applicability. Regarding real

-world applicability
a CAM application for microfinance data collectio

n
is now being used by 17 NGO (non-governmental
organization) staff

to serve over 10000 group
members in two states of India. Regarding bre

adth
I list some important rural data collection
applications - in

cluding for retail supply chain
tracking agricultural monitoring and h

ealth care -
that we have implemented or can be implemented
using
the CAM toolkit. I conclude by discussing
possible topics for future

work and my long-term
research vision.