Friday, February 24, 2012

The $100 Laptop Project is Alive and Innovating

I have been, and continue to be a fan of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. They hit some rough terrain a while back which seemed to burst their bubble (like: not setting expectations of buyers well enough, using the phrase "$100 laptop" and then not delivering a $100 laptop and letting the marketing material get ahead of the technology). But, I'm psyched to see that their back and better than ever. I give you the XO-3, a slick tablet:

I'm sorry to see the hybrid monochrome + color screen feature seems to be gone, but there's plenty of impressive innovations to make up for it. Including the use solar power and crank (something that was originally shown on the laptop, then removed, as it wasn't practical) power options.

The technology is slick, but I still think the key ingredient here is software. Until this is a useful learning platform, OLPC's job will be incomplete - even if it can deliver the $100 price point it's been shooting for, for years.

Still, I hope they keep up the good fight and I'm glad to see they weathered their last bout with fame. Here's to fame 2.0 having a better outcome for them.

2 comments:

  1. XO-1 could barely run a single app at the time in Sugar. When the OS got updated to dual-boot into Linux, the user was left in virtually the same situation, and no swap space even got configured to try to address the need :(.

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  2. Grant - Exactly. The XO-1 was impressive in many respects, but nowhere near what the marketing and hype promised.

    Hopefully the XO-3 is closer to functional, and with marketing that matches the device...

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