YEREVAN—This December, Armenia is entering a new phase of its contemporary history. The country’s first tablet factory is opening its doors to the public, producing domain-specific customized Android tablets to individuals and businesses across the globe.
To mark this milestone, ONEArmenia (1A) is partnering with ArmTab Technologies and the Orran benevolent family center to put the factory’s first 100 tablets into the hands of 100 Armenian teens. Through crowdfunding, 1A hopes to unite the future generation of tablets with the future generation of young people.
The launch of these tablets are a valuable bridge into uncharted territory on many fronts for Armenia. When Vahan Chakarian, Founder and CEO of ArmTab Technologies, made the decision to include Armenia in the production of customized educational tablets several years ago through the American company called Minno, he recalled, “I told [my colleague] that Armenia was known as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of the Soviet Union, and to this day, has a strong IT sector with tremendous untapped talent.”
However, the hardware for these tablets was always purchased, produced, and assembled in either China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Until now, Armenia’s role had been limited to the development of software and programming. ArmTab is the first real instance of Armenia acting as an independent and competitive agent in the tablet industry. While the factory still receives hardware from foreign countries, its assembly and programming are now being done entirely in Armenia by ArmTab’s hand-picked staff of experts.
The factory will not only provide a number of jobs to local IT personnel in Armenia (a large portion of which are women), but it is also setting the bar high for future factories in other industries to emerge. Located a few steps past the Mergelyan Institute of Mathematical Machine’s once-glorious gates, its humble exterior belies an impressive and cutting edge interior.
Rafayel Ghasabyan, ArmTab’s Managing Director, confirms that the factory was designed according to the highest international standards. During its infancy, he and his colleagues visited over 20 leading factories across the globe, selecting the best features from each and incorporating them into ArmTab’s design.
It was important to ArmTab’s founders that the factory’s very first tablets have an immediate impact inside Armenia. Organizers hope that partnering with 1A will help raise awareness of the significance of this turning point and what it means for the future. The 1A-sponsored tablets, which have adopted the moniker 1tab, have been custom-made specifically for the month-long campaign. Each tablet will be equipped with educational programs and Armenian-language resources and plans are in order to program digitized Armenian texts on the Android operating systems. All of this will ensure the tablets’ continued educational value, long after they have been distributed.
To support the campaign and be a part of this exciting development, please visit 1A’s Indiegogo campaign. Together, we can teach through technology.