E-readers are in! From the Kindle to the iBook and everything in between, digital content is the future that is now. Not only do they make accessing books super-easy, the e-books cost astronomically less than the on-shelf version. The thing is, these tablets cost money. And when you earn around $150 a month, they cost quite a lot.
So how do you work around it so that books are still cheap, accessible and available? Simple. Get a cheaper tablet (with less features, but it get’s the job done) and make the books even cheaper. That is what Kytabu does. It makes books cheaper by offering the user the option of ‘renting’ a book instead of buying it. It’s textbook subscription at its best.
Kytabu is a textbook encryption and subscription system that allows the purchase of books or chapters of books on a tablet through a mobile money transaction. Kytabu encrypts textbooks from publishers and offers users the opportunity to purchase the books on a daily, weekly, monthly, (school) term or yearly basis at a much lower price.
With all the textbooks intergrated into the application, it would then be installed into the cheap Aakash tablet (or an equivalent) from India that retails (with subsidies) at an average of $40, and introduced to the market at $50 to $60.
The application would look and work something like this.
When you purchase the tablet, you will have the Kytabu icon as part of your home screen. Kytabu would house all the textbooks a student would require in their education system and have the added advantage of upgrades where one is due.
By selecting the Kytabu application, the user will access the database of books in the Kytabu application and have the opportunity to choose what book they would like to subscribe.
They have the option of finding the book they need by choosing the Student Year (e.g. 5th Grade or Year 6) of study, the Book Subject (e.g. Biology), the Book Author (e.g. Jane Doe) or the book Publication year (e.g. 2010) . This will narrow down their search and present them with the books that are in the Kytabu textbook database matching the criteria that has been set.
Once the user has selected the book, they can then choose to unlock the book in one of four timelines. They can have the book for one week, one month, one school term or one year. This option allows the user to purchase within their means. The option of purchasing a book per day can be accessed through the ‘buy a chapter’ icon. Once the book has been selected and the time frame confirmed, the user then selects the mobile money platform through which they would like to pay for the book.
Even if the mobile money transfer system is slow, the user still has an offline confirmation of transaction and the book is immediately available for the user on the tablet. The transaction does not need a mobile network to succeed.
In case the user would like to have a chapter instead of an entire book, the process is similar and all they need to do is select the ‘Or buy chapters’ option.
This descriptive bubble allows the user to select the chapter they need without delay. Once the user selects the chapter, the price is automatically displayed on the screen and all the user needs to do is click ‘unlock chapter’ to get access or select ‘Get More’ to add more chapters or books to their cart.
And that is the Kytabu Application!
The screen cast video below outlines the Kytabu application and its functionality for detailed explanations…or if you just want to hear someone talk about it!