Neha Patil (Editor)

Keepod

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Covid-19
Founded  Early 2014
Operating system  Android 4.4
Website  keepod.org
Hardware  8GB USB flash
Retail price  7.00 USD
Owners  Nissan Bahar & Franky Imbesi

Keepod is a product name for live USB flash drives pre-loaded with the Android operating system, for people in developing countries to use on low processor power desktop computers.

Contents

The pre-loaded operating system is configured to save all the user's personal files and settings to the USB flash drive, and not the desktop computer's hardware. Because of this, the flash drive is encrypted and password protected. The project raised $40,801 by crowdfunding on IndieGoGo

Target audience

One of the main characteristics of Android is it has been created to be lightweight enough to run on the low power hardware of modern smartphones/tablets. The full Android operating system running on a live USB requires approximately 200MB, in contrast to Microsoft's Windows XP which requires approximately 400MB and which no longer receives any security updates from Microsoft. The hardware power of a modern smartphone/tablet can be roughly equivalent to a desktop computer that would have been sold as new several years ago. Because of the trickle down of products from more financially wealthy countries to developing countries such as clothes or electronics, there is potentially a large abundance of low power desktop computers with untapped function, that cannot run the latest versions of a full desktop operating systems, and/or do not have inhabitants with enough financial assets to buy an official full desktop operating system. As a result, more commonly chosen options include pirate desktop operating systems with potential security issues, or buying a somewhat more expensive smartphone - approximately 30.00 USD - for the first time.

One drawback of using Android is the lack of support and drivers for the large variety of desktop computer hardware in the wild, as Android has primarily been developed for mobile and smartphone hardware.

Financial approach

The introduction video of the Keepod includes a few glimpses of the Android operating system, displaying Google apps. Android states it is "intentionally and explicitly an open-source - as opposed to a free software - effort" and is heavily tied in with Google's other products and services when sold commercially in smartphones and tablets.

It seems the company/organisation is approaching a variety of options to bring income. This first is third party advertising and personalised advertisements from Google through Google apps included. The second to pursue a business model based on consumer hardware profit, as each $7 sale is said to be made up of $2 profit. The third to market startup packs to potential new middlemen in developing countries, which would include how to make and introduce the USB flash drives to new consumers. The fourth to depend on charitable donations, which can be done through the official Keepod website, and has previously been done through their crowdfunding page.

References

Keepod Wikipedia


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