Want one of Negroponte's laptops? Buy two and you can have one

OLPC project says demand from Westerners is high, so machines will be made available but there's a catch. You have to buy two - one for yourself and for a child.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on

Aren't those OLPC laptops so cool? Don't you wish you could get your hands on without having to move to a developing country? Well, now you can buy, not one but two nifty laptops, according to the BBC News.

Although the focus of the One Laptop Per Child project is mainly on delivering five million laptops to developing nations, one idea for commercial viability is for Western citizens to sponsor a machine for a developing world child.

It's possible that eBay could be a partner in selling the laptops. Michalis Bletsas, chief connectivity officer for the project, said.

"If we started selling the laptop now, we would do very good business," Bletsas said, speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The laptop, called the XO, is a durable, easy-to-use machine. It has built-in wireless networking and video conferencing so that groups of children can work together. The current actual cost of the laptop is $150.

"I'd like to make sure that kids all around the world start to communicate. It will be a very interesting experiment to see what will happen when we deploy a million laptops in Brazil and a million laptops in Namibia."

Bletsas, speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, said he hoped that the laptop project would help children enrich their lives to the extent that one day they could become consumers of the types of technologies on display in Las Vegas.

"We are trying to help the governments - that ranges from donating resources, to making sure that we work with them and that they don't consider the laptop as something that can work in a disconnected environment.

"It's vitally important that children are connected. My ambition is that we will get them connect to a vast amount of information that is unavailable to them, said Bletsa.

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