The OLPC's real importance is as a conversation starter

Summary:The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is looking to launch a prototype of its XO-3 later this year. The real advantage of having the OLPC around is as a product conversation starter and design influence.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is looking to launch a prototype of its XO-3 later this year. The real advantage of having the OLPC around is as a product conversation starter and design influence.

IDG News Service reports that the OLPC is speeding up the development of the XO-3 tablet, which wasn't supposed to land until 2012. The idea is that this tablet would cost $75. OLPC also provided details on its blog.

OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte said his group will show off the XO-3 at CES 2011. The biggest hang-up will be getting the plastic together so the device can take the abuse from the emerging markets. Negroponte's goal is to have a 100 percent plastic device---screen included. The OLPC may have a fully plastic device at CES 2012.

The big picture here is that OLPC's role is something akin to a conversation starter. The first XO was a precursor to the netbook and got vendors with more distribution heft---think Intel---more involved in the educational effort.

See OLPC topic page

Now OLPC is pushing an all-plastic device that'll run you $75 and can take lots of abuse. Do we really think OLPC will be first to market with this kind of tablet? I don't. But it really doesn't matter. The OLPC's real value is pushing the device envelope and pointing out what matters to the next-gen computing user.

Here's the full video of the Negroponte interview.

Related:

Topics: Tablets

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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