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Sarawak can serve as tech lab for IT researchers

on 14 Julai 2011.

12/07/2011
New Straits Times - Online


KUCHING: Sarawak can serve as a technological lab for IT researchers as it offers an insight into the digital divide between the urban and rural users.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak vice chancellor Professor Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid said it had carried a 12-year project called the e-Bario in the effort to bring technology into the rural highland comunity for the Orang Ulu tribe. The settlement is also the producer of the famous Bario rice.

"Technology makers only concentrate their products for the urban users, but there are many more that have no access to these modern technologies.

"There is a vast potentials in developing new technologies for the rural folks," said Khairuddin said yesterday at the 7th International Conference of IT in Asia (Cita) which started yesterday.

The conference sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society and is collocated with the International Workshop on Internalisation of Products and Systems (IWIP 2011).

The three-day event saw 100 international participants including Google's User Experience Research Manager Dr Patrick Larvie who will be presenting his paper on Thursday.

Unimas's computer science and information technology dean Professor Dr K Narayanan said there were many challenges in carrying out the project including dealing with the reservation from the Bario community.

"When we first started, there were many objections to it, but once they realise and start looking at the bigger picture, they began to accept that it can help in their daily lives.

"With mobile phones coming into the picture, it is now a challenge to bridge that gap to the people there," said Narayanan. He said Unimas is looking at using the e-Bario program to help the farmers in their harvest especially in data collection.

"With rising demand for Bario rice, we want to help the farmers in bringing technology to them in the near future. This is part of the plan that we have for them," said Narayanan.

Extracted from newstraitstimes.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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