In many countries, Internet access is such an elemental part of daily life and business that people couldn’t live without it anymore. Yet, more than five billion people go about their daily businesses without Internet access. Widernet organization is building an ambitious program called eGranary whose objective is to bring the wealth of information stored on the Internet to people without Internet access.
The eGranary concept has two key elements:
1. Collect relevant information from the Internet into pocket libraries. They are focused collections of documents and ebooks tailored, for instance, for education, nurse training, and agricultural information. Pocket libraries are stored on an eGranary device.
2. Make the information stored on an eGranary device (or memory card) easily shareable. For example, children at a school may have mobile phones or a nurse training class may have tablets or PCs for accessing the information on the device.
The eGranary houses 32 million documents including the entire Wikipedia website and materials from the Khan Academy. The material consists of entire web sites, ebooks, textbooks, videos, podcasts, radio shows, and applications. The goal has been to include information on practically every topic under the sun. All material has been selected and curated so that the information can be trusted and it doesn’t have unwanted side-effects of wild and free information on the Internet.
Widernet is raising money for the next step of the program: making the system work on a SD memory card.