Many might argue that libraries are being rendered obsolete in today’s digital world, that the internet has replaced their relevance as a source for knowledge. Recognizing the changing times and the importance of giving the public access to reliable content, South Africa’s Eduze offers free and easy access to world-class digital content that can uplift, inform and empower citizens.
The startup recently secured funding from TED, a non-profit organization popularly known for its annual conferences which cover almost every topic ranging from science to business to global issues.
The company offers all Africans access to content that is entertaining, educational and informative. To solve the issue of high data cost and slow speeds, the startup developed a unique Wi-Fi based technology called Cloud in a Box (CLOX). CLOX enables users to browse, stream and download digital content to a mobile device with no waiting, no buffering and no data costs.
The technology doesn’t need 3G or ADSL to work and it allows users to download or stream movies, games, music and ebooks.
“Eduze has pioneered something extraordinary—thanks to its technology, for the first time, entire swaths of the global population will have the ability to connect and explore, to discover and learn. It’s exactly this kind of breakthrough in connectivity we seek in our work to spread ideas to the far corners of the world,” adds Deron Triff, TED’s Head of Media Distribution.
Eduze is currently launching CLOX into schools, university, community centres, buses, shops and other public spaces across the continent but they have started running pilots in South Africa with Amogaleng Buses, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Maboneng Precinct among others.
When you’re at one of the company’s selected sites, you will have full access to free educational content on your phone, tablet or PC.
‘We share TED’s vision – to provide users a digital experience that is compelling, meaningful and accessible. Where local book libraries offer cost- and risk-free books, we hope to do the same with digital content. We aim to offer African content producers an innovative and commercially viable new distribution channel. Our first pilots are underway, and we look forward to an exciting and progressive year,’ adds Charlie Beuthin, Managing Director at Eduze.
Eduze also plans on providing local schools with the best range of digital content. “We want to speak to learners in a fresh and inspirational way. It’s about a compelling content offering, provided in a convenient, affordable, fun manner that feeds from a student’s natural curiosity,” concludes Beuthin.