Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

World's Cheapest

India finally managed to launch probably world's cheapest 7-inch touchscreen tablet dubbed...

India has already churned out the world's cheapest car and is now launching what's billed as the world's cheapest 7-inch touchscreen tablet. The result of efforts by India's Ministry of Human Resource and Development to develop a low cost computing device that could be used by students across the country, Aakash, or "sky" in Hindi, is set to be sold to students at the government subsidized price of US$35. The regular retail price of the tablet is expected to be around US$60 when the unit hits the shelves as a commercial version called the UbiSlate 7.  Read More

Tata is aiming to build the world's cheapest house

The same Indian company that gave us the US$2500 Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, is now about to give us the world's cheapest house - the 20 sq meter house will cost Rs 32,000 (EUR500 –GBP440 - US$715 ), can be built in a week and is the first viable zero-cost housing package for beneficiaries of the Indira Awaas Yojana shelter rehabilitation scheme. The scheme provides for the underprivileged and with Rs 40,000 per house provided, there's even room for some cheap land in the deal.  Read More

FUKAI's functional water generators (left) and a hydrogen-extraction demonstration (right)...

At least half of the world’s usable hydrogen is obtained through a process known as steam reforming, in which steam reacts with fossil fuels such as natural gas to produce hydrogen gas. On a smaller scale, hydrogen can also be obtained through the process of electrolysis, in which ordinary water is split into its oxygen and hydrogen components by running an electrical current through it – consumers can even buy their own electrolysis-based home hydrogen extraction kit, in the form of the HYDROFILL. Now, however, Japan’s FUKAI Environmental Research Institute has announced a new technology for obtaining hydrogen that it claims is less expensive and more efficient than anything that’s been tried so far.  Read More

The new Asus reader could be the device that finally kick-starts the eBook market

Despite being around since the mid-nineties, eBooks have never really taken off and this is mainly down to the fact that eBook readers, which have been available for about a decade, have proven prohibitively expensive and barely more convenient than lugging around a couple paperbacks. Sony and BeBook have seen relative success in recent times, along with the Amazon Kindle, but a new competitor in the form of Asus could be set to breathe new life into the market.  Read More

February 26, 2008 Little over a month after India's Tata Motor Company announced its 100,000 rupee (US$2500) NANO, reports have emerged that the mantle of the world's cheapest new car will pass to the Tara Tiny, a battery operated four-seater that's been sneakily priced at just 1 rupee below the NANO.  Read More

The world’s cheapest new car – just US$2500

January 11, 2008 If you haven’t heard of India’s Tata Motor Company, rest assured you’ll certainly be hearing a lot more about it very soon. Tata is about to give the world’s automotive manufacturers a landmark lesson in production efficiency with the release of a 100,000 rupee car – that’s US$2500, brand spanking new. Unveiled last night, the Tata NANO, will bring motoring within the reach of millions when it is launched in India later in 2008. Like the four-minute-mile, now we’re aware that it can be done, we suspect that the auto industry is in for another shake-up thanks to the flow-on effects precipitated by this long-time innovative Indian company. Not yet impressed? Then try this for size – Tata Group has been named by Ford as the preferred buyer for its two up-for-sale brands, Jaguar and Land Rover.  Read More

The world’s cheapest MP3 player

April 15, 2006 If you’re in any doubt about how ubiquitous the MP3 player will become, think about this. Japanese company Evergreen has released the DN-2000 onto the Japanese market. The DN-2000 has no internal memory and no display, but takes SD cards up to 1GB and like most MP3 players, doesn’t need a display because the standard interface of buttons is entirely adequate. We’re not going to put the price in the heading or first paragraph so you can decide for yourself just how cheap it might be possible to sell such an MP3 player for … with earphones, after design, manufacture and marketing.  Read More

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