Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Carbon Micro Credit (CMC) Cell Phone


The Carbon Micro Credit (CMC) Cell Phone

Supersizing Micro-finance, Micro-medicine & Micro-education

The Carbon Phone / CO2phone / CO2fon for "The Long Tail"

The Carbon Mobile / Carbon mobi / CO2mobi for "The Bottom of the Pyramid"

What features would the perfect cell phone or CO2fon have to permit easy monetization of the carbon footprints of the Poor in the Developing World? That is, to supersize microfinance to the scale of "Over 1 billion served"?

Plus, what features should it have to fulfill the ancillary objectives of:

(A) Telemedicine

(B) Tele-education and

(C) an Emergency Broadcast System for national disasters?

In short, to supersize the analogous fields of micromedicine and microeducation?

Such a carbon mobile would have:

(1) One-button dialing to send an SMS message (Short Message Service) to the local mobile carrier to claim one's daily Carbon Micro Credit (CMC)

(2) One-button access to see one's daily balance (credit or debit) of CMCs or equivalent cell-phone minutes or equivalent cash/local currency or non-inflatable e-gold

(3) the GSMA / ETSI-endorsed Single-Wire Protocol to allow an embedded NFC (Near Field Communication) chipset to communicate with wireless / no-contact readers to enable a variety of e-credit & e-debit transactions to access cash, make deposits or buy goods at local stores

(4) SMS reception capability that cannot be blocked to allow broadcast of public health messages, such as upcoming vaccine campaigns or outbreaks of infectious diseases such as Marburg, Ebola, dengue, malaria, hanta or Yersinia pestis (the plague).

(5) a built-in FM radio for the same reason in #4 above. Many Nokia phones have such built-in FM radios, thus making a cell phone-radio combo the ultimate "push" device for objectives A - C above -- telemedicine, tele-education and national emergencies

(6) a large, multi-script-capable, versatile screen/display to allow children to type text in various languages/alphabets including the Roman alphabet, Chinese characters or Japanese kanji, the Cyrillic alphabet and Arabic script

(7) high-level calculator and mathematical functions, routines and lessons to allow children to teach themselves math, algebra and calculus -- the universal languages

(8) Key-board icons that are globally intuitive and not overly-stylized nor trendy

(9) GPS and caller ID capability to locate lost or missing children

(10) an attached winder or crank to charge the battery manually, and/or solar-cell-covered surfaces for passive charging; and

(11) rugged and water-proof construction to survive life in the Developing World for many years.

Including all the features above is not absolutely necessary. Keeping manufacturing costs low is critical. A minimalist cell phone can be made "almost for nothing", one executive at NXP Semiconductors told me recently.

Design for Functionality in an environment where many adults are illiterate is most important. Another design tenet should be "Design for Compliance", so every head-of-household religiously claims their allocated Carbon Micro Credits every day. Design simplicity will boost adoption rates and facilitate monetization of a billion carbon footprints.

In sum, the Carbon Micro Credits Cell Phone is the savings account of the Poor; the bank and the ATM; the doctor and the nurse; their children's teacher and the school; and finally -- the Poor's business partner and carbon-footprint defender.

Globally & warmly yours,

David Palella
Caped Carbon Crusader

San Diego, CA
tel: 858-793-0741