Into Africa: Inveneo's low-power computing alternative

Summary:I am way too far out of traditional work mode to wrap my head around some of the other subjects I've got cluttering my inbox. Weekends are for non-profits, like San Francisc0-based Inveneo, which is bringing computers and IP communications technology to under-served regions in places like Nigeria.

I am way too far out of traditional work mode to wrap my head around some of the other subjects I've got cluttering my inbox. Weekends are for non-profits, like San Francisc0-based Inveneo, which is bringing computers and IP communications technology to under-served regions in places like Nigeria.

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Inveneo cofounders Mark Summer (CEO) and Kristin Peterson (Chief Development Officer) said Inveneo wasn't founded with the idea of being a green tech player, but by necessity it has focused on creating ultra-low-power models because of the unreliable power infrastructure in many of the places where its projects are ongoing. Its work currently reaches more than 100 communities and touches more than 300,000 people in five African nations.

The power situation in developing countries has forced Inveneo to be innovative about its power supplies, which are adaptable to work with different voltages. This, Summer and Peterson say, is one of the reasons that refurbished computers aren't really a great alternative for these communities: Their power profiles are too inflexible, and much more insatiable than Inveneo's systems.

The Inveneo systems run the Ubuntu Linux derivative and use AMD or VIA processor technologies, depending on the configuration. Here's a complete list of all its products. In some cases, the systems are being run off solar-powered generators with battery back-up, Summer says. So, Inveneo has focused on working with local installers in the communities it is targeting so that the installations can be supported locally after it moves to a different project.

If you want to learn more about Inveneo, here's a video that's posted on their Web site that was part of the CNN Principal Voices series.

Topics: CXO, Emerging Tech

About

Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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