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Pillar ATMs Designed for the Illiterate in Developing Communities

 - Jul 12, 2011
References: ncr & scientificamerican
Concerned by the prevalence of illiteracy in the developing world and its effect on business, industrial manufacturer NCR has recently announced their prototype automatic teller machine (ATM), tentatively called the Pillar ATM for its strange, albeit tamper-proof design.

Constructed with the rural environments of India and China in mind, the Pillar ATM is (almost) entirely text-free and uses fingerprint biometric scanners in lieu of a wordy interface.

With security playing a pivotal part in its design, the new Pillar ATM is shaped to minimize spots where a crowbar or power tool could be applied to force it open. In fact, the entire machine is capable of collapsing in on itself if damaged or meddled with.

Considering the time-tested utility of liquid cash, one might ask what use illiterate customers have for an ATM, keeping in mind the lengthy start-up process. This seems to be the largest bulwark to NCR's success in the region, but if they prevail the company stands to radically change the way money is exchanged in the developing world.