One of the recurring debate topics during the Web2forDev Conference was the increasing broadband divide, i.e. the divide that comes not from “those having and those who have not”, but those who can access the web in optimal conditions and those who do it with poor infrastructures and, above all, with poor connectivity. As it can be easily understood, more and more applications demand good connectivity quality, thus creating a (new) barrier to those that still connect to the Internet with lowband connections such as modem over fixed lines.
Even if most Web 2.0 technologies are really low-power demanding ones, one of the promises for knowledge diffusion to developing countries is still quite high-power demanding: teleconferencing and/or audio and video broadcasting. Yes, we’ve seen interesting attempts in this field, but I honestly think that the EyA (Engage your Audience) Automatic Recordings System, developed by the Science Dissemination Unit of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, is one of the most outstanding and promising ones.
I won’t enter the technical details of the project, but just state that EyA helps deliver audio, video and slidecasting with very low demanding requirements:
- low digital literacy required for the user
- low attention (automatic recording) required for the speaker
- low-band required for broadcasting
Thus, in my opinion, the technology is not only good because its technological features, but also because it does not require a highest level of capabilities on the user’s side, another usual downside that is seldom taken into account, making it just perfect for developing countries (and developed ones too!).
- Automatic Recordings via EyA System site
- “EyA System: Automated Audio-Video-Slide Recordings” (66 Kb) – Proceedings Conference: ICL-Interactive Computer Aided Learning, Villach/Austria, Sept 2007.
- “Webcasting of Traditional Chalkboard Lectures: The EyA System” – EURODL European Journal of Open and Distance Learning, Sept 2007
- EyA Recordings of the ICTP Diploma Programme
- EyA Recordings of the Turbulent Mixing and Beyond Conference
- Book: How To Accelerate Your Internet: A practical guide to Bandwidth Management and Optimization using Open Source Software, book by some of the same authors of this project
- Book: Wireless Networking in the Developing World, book by some of the same authors of this project
Thanks, Marco, for the tip.
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2007) “Automatic Recordings via EyA System to close the Broadband Divide” In ICTlogy,
#49, October 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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