This guy, Pranav Mistry, just might be the best inventor around, right now. I’m not saying that because he’s done something absolutely incredible and sci-fi, like created a flying car (EDIT: Flying cars are incredible, but now also humanitarian). But his interest is for the masses and the world.
Mistry is from India, which has one of the biggest populations in the world, and one of the highest poverty rates in the world. To make an analogy, his interest isn’t to make the rich richer, but to make the poor richer. This device he’s working on is something which would be useful to everyone, but is really accessible. He mentions the hardware cost him about $300. My smartphone cost me more than that, and can’t do these things.
And it’s all open-source. That’s always kind of the holy grail of altruist-technology. As you might know, open-source software is always free, and anyone can do whatever they want with it. That means a programmer could take Mistry’s work, turn it into something else, and use it for whatever he or she wants. That includes selling it.
It appears that the trend for computing these days is that, if one can afford it, he or she will have a PC or laptop at home, and a mobile device. Google’s new release:
Allowing people to edit documents, with other people, on their phones? Staying connected is clearly becoming increasingly important-slash-popular. It’s kind of a mix of both, really. It would not surprise me if Mistry’s invention is the next step in connecting people.