Apple’s iPad may be on the most-wanted list of teenagers around the globe, but in Russia, students could be about to get a different type of tablet.
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“This is a working display. It still bends. If I hooked it up to electronics, I could change content on it right now. As you can see – very, very thin, very, very light, and it’s because of our technology that we can put it into a reader that weighs so little and can replace a student’s entire textbook collection for the year.”
California-based, Plastic Logic, developed the tablet using Russian money.
“We’ve pre-loaded it with all the textbooks they’re going to need for the year, and then we’ve locked it. So we’ve made it very easy for the teacher to hand these out and not be bothered by things like students deleting the textbooks and having to reload them, or students putting content on there that they don’t want and are distracting in class.”
The state-controlled Russian technology giant, Rusnano, has invested $700 million in Plastic Logic. Rusano’s CEO says it’s one of 90 projects they’re currently involved in.
“About 70 out of them are serious and interesting, about 10 of them are very interesting and about three or five of them may change the whole sectors. Above all, there are three projects that may change the world.”
Anatoly Chubais recently showed the device to Russia’s Prime Minister. And he predicts it could grab a 10% share of the global electronics market. At around $420, it’s certainly cheaper than an iPad, which sells for a third more.
Rusnano will test the new tablet in selected schools for a year. If successful, it’ll start mass production and target Russia’s 13.5 million students.
But many may still covet the iPad and its rivals, as the Russian tablet doesn’t connect to the internet.
Bottom line: A new plastic-based tablet designed by a California tech company for students is going on trial in Russia thanks to funding from the Russian state-run tech giant, Rusnano.