The prototype laptop was shown off this week at the Silicon Valley Challenge Summit, held at Santa Clara University. Walter Bender, president of software for the Massachusetts-based nonprofit OLPC, said that higher-than-expected costs for the laptop's display and battery (made of nickel-metal hydride) hiked up the price. "The goal is to get it to $100 by 2008," Bender said the conference.
After two years in development, there is now a working prototype. Hopefully, by the end of 2007, OLPC will ship laptops to children in Libya, Nigeria, Brazil, and Argentina. That's 1.2 million laptops to children and teachers in Libya, and roughly 4 million more to the other countries, Bender said.
The prototype is a lime-green-and-white laptop that's roughly the size of a schoolbook. It's made of dirt-resistant materials such as a rubber membrane keyboard. Its features include a built-in video camera, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities, and a screen that swivels for e-book use. The dual-mode display can also be used in full-color mode, or in a black-and-white sunlight-readable mode.
It runs a version of the Linux operating system, as well as various applications developed by MIT researchers and open-source programmers around the world. For example, the University of Montreal built a music education application for the laptop.