Educational Tablet To Be Made in Thailand.
Getting closer to becoming a reality, 800,000 tablets at 3,000 baht each
could jumpstart Thai-language content such as ebooks and learning
Forth Corporation has introduced the first Thai-made educational tablet computer priced at 3,000 baht in a bid to join the government's 4-billion-baht One Tablet per Child programme.
Mr Sawat says controls on the tablet help ensure only appropriate content can be used.
The SET-listed electronic equipment manufacturer spent three months redesigning its controller board to integrate it with a base to reduce size and bring the cost down from 5,000 baht earlier, said R&D director Sawat Erbchokchai.
As well, he said, the fact that the government wants as many as 800,000 tablets means the company can achieve economies of scale to keep costs low.
"We're confident our current tablet price could easily compete with those of Chinese manufacturers, while our production capacity could serve the government's demand," he said.
The tablet programme was one of the high-profile election promises of the Pheu Thai Party. Responding to critics who said the cost would be too high, party strategists said they believed they could source cheap equipment from China.
Forth is in talks with advisers to the Education Minister and local software companies about cooperation on educational content development.
Featuring a 7-inch display and both a pen- and touch-based interface, Forth's tablets enable students to automatically receive educational content after they register their personal data and log in - without the need for downloads.
The management software enables screening of content and applications supplied to students to make sure it is appropriate. "This will facilitate primary school pupils, considered too young to download applications by themselves.
Mr Sawat said it was not easy in the past for Thai companies to make tablets, given small local demand. However, the school tablet project opens the doors to local IT and technology firms.
"If the government promotes greater use of local content and opens more opportunity for local IT and telecom firms to participate in state bidding projects, the ultimate result will be a new ecosystem and a new momentum for the industry," he said.
Mr Sawat said that if Forth's tablets proved successful, it would attract other industries to commercially adopt the first Thai-made products. As a result, he said, both hardware makers and local application developers would benefit.
Read more at http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/256904/educational-tablet-made-in-thailand