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Definition: Simputer

(SIMple comPUTER) A handheld computer designed by Indian scientists and engineers from Encore Software Ltd. (www.ncoretech.com) and the Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. Based on the StrongARM CPU and Linux, it uses graphics and voice output to appeal to users in third-world countries with limited literacy. It also contains a smart card reader for financial transactions and a browser that renders content in the XML-based Information Markup Language (IML), which was designed for devices like the Simputer.

Announced in 1999, the hardware and software specifications were made open source and are part of the non-profit Simputer Trust (www.simputer.org). In 2004, a version named the Amida Simputer was introduced to appeal to the retail market.

Simputers, such as this model from PicoPeta, are handheld devices designed for people in third-world countries with limited literacy and computer experience. (Image courtesy of PicoPeta Computers, Bangalore, India, www.picopeta.com)