What do an iPhone, a Toyota SUV and a Classmate PC have in common?


They are part of the winning solutions in Intel’s Inspire*Empower challenge. The iPhone (or any camera-enabled smartphone, pda or netbook) can be made into an online microscope to be used in monitoring infectious diseases. The Toyota is the wheels of a mobile solar computer classroom and the classmate PC is being taken into the fields in great lakes region of Africa to help combat plant disease. Wow!

I have been fortunate enough to be part of the team that put this challenge together … and also to read most of the 200 entries. I KNEW Intel technology made a difference in the world … after all, I’ve been doing community solutions for years … but to see so many different uses and applications of that technology blew me away. My only regret is that we couldn’t recognize (and award) more than four of the entries. The fact that each of the winners plans to use the $100,000 to reach more end beneficiaries is truly inspiring.