The OLPC's real importance is as a conversation starter

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.

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TOPICS: Tablets
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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.

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Topic: Tablets

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8 comments
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  • RE: The OLPC's real importance is as a conversation starter

    OLPC makes it happen. If any other provides $75 Android tablets before the Marvell design, then great. Consider Marvell's processor is not a basic ARM9 or ARM11 processor, it is faster and more advanced.
    charbax@...
  • RE: The OLPC's real importance is as a conversation starter

    You might have a point there, given the heritage of netbooks and the XO-1.
    IssacS
  • This would be a game-changer

    Any computer sold at $75 will allow 2-3 billion people in the developing world to buy PCs for the first time ever. It will do for PCs what the sub-$100 cellphone did for the cellphone industry. Suddenly, the OS market share will finally be determined by the emerging markets where most of the world's population actually reside. If Windows doesn't make it onto these machines, it could end up having a minority share of the OS market overnight. Like I said...a game-changer.
    eMJayy
  • How can they do it?

    How can they make a tablet that can be sold for $75 when an iPad costs almost 10 times as much? Then again, the SmartQ 5 will run Android for about $165, and the SmartQ 7 for $285. So I suppose its possible.
    Well, it will be slow, buggy and easily broken (I had to laugh; plastic is not exactly known as the sturdiest of substances. Try taking this thing onto your average construction site and it'll be trash in minutes. Or maybe the 3rd world has changed over the years into a university library).

    Poor kids in the developing world... scratch that... KIDS EVERYWHERE do NOT need computers.

    They need teachers. They need books. They need pencils and paper. They need to spend their formative years learning how to THINK, and to think for themselves. They don't need a box that will think for them.

    A calculator is a tool, used by people who already know how to do math, to balance budgets and design machines and buildings (hmm... this may explain something...) Those using them are presumed to already have learned how to do these calculations, and what they mean.

    The same is true for computers. What you're promoting here is the insertion of a propoganda box into the developing world, something socialists and corporations will use to condition the next developing market in Pavlovian reactions already so common among the allegedly intelligent and supposedly "educated" peoples of the 1st world.
    hiraghm@...
  • RE: The OLPC's real importance is as a conversation starter

    This is great and important news. I really hope they deliver on that promise. A game changer it is.
    Vahidm
  • that's a very self-important view to take

    but then myopia is what most Americans do best
    Htalk
  • To who's ultimate interest?

    Well said hiraghm!

    It is not about education, rather about marketing and propaganda. Look at the so called first world. Are people smarter, better informed because they use social media sights? If so to what degree? My great grandparents were much more aware yet they never attended high school let alone had access to instant information. They did however pass information from generation to generation since they followed the intergenerational model (that is three generations lived together or near each other at the same time at any given period in time) communicated and discuss issues of the day with family and friends and most people in the village worked together to advance their social needs. Today women do not have children young do the opportunity to learn from grandparents or great grandparents is lost; in fact many children do not have both parents or perhaps even two same sex partners! Followed by a an educational system controlled by an international hegemony of special interests group(s) who?s interest is not to spread information which leads to liberation of thought just of work effort.

    The problem in the so called third world is not education or family structure however the interference of a select group in the west dividing and exploiting the peoples and their recourses for their own self interest packaged in the guise of humanity or doing what is best for them. What is the best for them is for us to leave them alone as for any peoples of any notation such as the U.S. To allow the peoples of the so called third world to determine their own destiny without our interference and allow the people of the at nation to make their own choices.

    As in the colonial era we know what is best of them yet that never seems to advance there interest, coincidence?
    mario@...
  • RE: The OLPC's real importance is as a conversation starter

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