The Simputer project was conceived during the organization of the Global Village, an International Seminar on Information Technology for Developing Countries, conducted during Bangalore IT.com event in October 1998.
A discussion paper highlights the need for a low-cost mass access device that will bring local-language IT to the masses. The initial concept paper ( PDF version) expanding on the initial discussions introduced the term Simputer as an obvious twist on the word Computer. For the purpose of establishing originality, a slightly more complex acronym was invented to fit the name Simputer: Simple, Inexpensive, Multi-lingual comPUTER. And finally in order to appeal to computer geeks, ridiculously complex recursive acronym was also coined: Simputer: SIMPle compUTER, which expands to Simple, In-expensive Multi-lingual PeopLE's compUTER. The concept paper outlines the technical requirements of the Simputer as well as the applications. However, this paper is quite dated, and useful only as a historic reference.
The writing of the Bangalore Declaration on Information technology for developing countries clarified and fortified the concept of the Simputer and its role in the larger picture. A few items in the Declaration, specifically highlight the role for a Simputer-like device.