Project Dextr is an international project aimed at giving people the BEST POSSIBLE experience from mobile technology. Our mission is to make these devices easier to use. Why? Because more than any other technology. Mobile technology has the ability to:
- empower individuals
- transform lives
- build communities
- grow businesses
- develop economies
And more than any other technology, it provides the power to enable, educate and emancipate.
So we’re starting with the keyboard – because it is the common denominator in mobile communication. We use it all the time — for all our apps, and on all our devices. Sadly, the current option – invariably a shrunk-down, squished-up version of QWERTY – is the greatest usability fail in history. Heck, it was the greatest usability fail in history BEFORE it infested our smartphones and tablets.
And billions upon billions of people are yet to encounter this impending ergonomic disaster. Heaven help them when they do. Instead of being able to quickly, simply and efficiently enjoy and use their cool new mobile devices, they’ll be stuck on prolonged, frustrating and error-riddled learning curve. It’s an archaic, arrogant and artificial barrier to the betterment of lives everywhere.
So we decided to do something about it.
The Dextr Dream
The Dextr dream is a world connected, enabled, empowered and enriched by mobile technology – where it can be simply, quickly, efficiently, intelligently and affordably used by anyone, anywhere – so that no-one is excluded.
We see Dextr as a powerful aid to fast, efficient and effective communication. But more than that, we see it as a vital learning tool, helping lift literacy rates. Our vision is that one day, children everywhere – from Swaziland to Sulawesi to El Salvador will learn to read, write and reach out to the world with Dextr.
In developing Dextr, we thought about all those of us who are often over-looked: left-handers, people with disabilities, and the technology ‘have-nots’ – especially the mobile-only generation – the more than 5 billion people who don’t have regular access to a computers or landlines.
Bridging the digital divide
We see the world at an impasse – where even in the wealthiest countries, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In order to catch up, people in developing nations and in disadvantaged economic circumstances are being left behind in the technology race.
We are acutely aware of the ‘digital divide’ – that invisible economic firewall that separates the technology ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots’. It blocks access to vital information and life-changing technology, either because of a lack of infrastructure or, more commonly, simply because it’s too darn expensive. Estimates vary, but currently over 5 billion people (or 70% of the world’s population) are stuck on the wrong side of this digital divide.
Hope is at Hand
Despite this, the team at Project Dextr are incredibly optimistic! We see one simple piece of technology that has the power to change this – a technology so empowering it can transform not just individual lives, but whole communities, and even entire economies. It’s a piece of technology you can hold in the palm of your hand, fit in your pocket, carry with you anywhere and operate miles from the nearest power socket or phone line. This life-changing technology is the internet-enabled mobile device!
For most of us on the planet this handy, affordable device is not just our first phone; it’s also our first computer, our first internet connection, first email account, and first social network. But more than that, in many cases it’s also our first TV, radio, sound system, gaming console, camera, photo album or bookshelf…even our first watch!
We’re excited by three recent developments that are making this happen:
A. The price of smartphones and tablets is dropping rapidly – it’s now possible to purchase an Android smartphone or tablets for less than US$50.
B. 3G (and even 4G) networks are covering more and more ground – from Chad to China to Chile, more people have access than ever before
C. Solar cells are bringing light and power to more communities that are “off the grid”
The goals of Project Dextr are to create a simple, robust and powerful solution that is:
A. Useful. And that starts with focusing on usability and utility. We believe that technology should be fast to learn, easy to use and simple to master. And that’s also why we’ve tested it with over 500 users on every continent (well.. except Antarctica) in over 80 countries and across 20 major languages.
B. Accessible. We’re not all built the same way. Some of struggle with using technology. So we’ve designed dextr to be as uaable and accessible by as many people with as wide a range of disabilities as possible.
C. Available. We want to offer it to as many people in as many places as possible. We’re starting in Google Play, but are already getting up in other app stores. We’re also talking with Telcos, device manufacturers and software developers who can see the benefits Dextr brings to their customers.
D. Affordable. We promise to always make a version of Dextr free to install for anyone, anywhere. And while we’re working on a premium version, our aim is to keep that version as affordable as possible too.
Find out more about why Dextr is the keyboard for everyone!