A startup from France has embarked on developing a way for individuals to have their own private virtual desktop regardless of where they are located as a means to provide increased access to the benefits of computing technologies to those who cannot afford it. The company’s mission is similar to that of the One Laptop Per Child initiative but with a different spin on things (from Social ROI).
Whether in an Internet café or village kiosk, a PC equipped with Jooce software gives each person who logs in a customized environment—complete with programs, preferences, bookmarks, buddy lists, and so forth. That way, even though many people may use the machine each day, it feels “personal” to each one. Jooce also lets subscribers securely store an unlimited number of documents, photos, videos, and other data—as well as gives them the ability to share those files easily with other Jooce users.
Such an approach could actually gain traction in India in both the urban and rural landscape, specifically since the use of village kiosks have begun to gain popularity. As the capabilities of programs like eChoupal grow, integration of such software may become an industry standard. Such a community/shared computer approach has many other benefits — both tangible (reduced energy demand) and intangible (promotion of social interaction at the Jooce centers).