- profit making attempts by various vendors through unscrupulous means
- Top bureaucrats adjusting purchase policies in accordance with manufacturer-friendly contracts as opposed to open and transparent means
The recent period has been a difficult one for OLPC, during which the entire ethos and aim of the project has been called into question. One former employee, Ivan Krstic, blasted the organisation for becoming a vehicle for creating the "economic incentives" for a particular vendor.
However that is not what this post is about. Its about the future plans of the next generation XO. Its supposed to be a touchscreen based book-shaped gadget half the size of the current one (now that is something everyone would vouch to get - IMHO). Here are further details:
The new XO-2 machine will be developed by the team behind the One Laptop per Child project. It will have two touch-sensitive screens and be about half the size of the original, iconic white-and-green XO device. Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of OLPC, also said the XO-2 will have a foldable book-like feel to it.
"The next-generation laptop should be a book," he said. The screen will be optimised to ensure it can be seen both in low light conditions and bright sunlight, while power consumption will be reduced to just one watt. Negroponte said the laptop would be ready for launch by 2010.
Users will be able to switch between using the computer in a book-like vertical format, a normal horizontal format, and even as a touchscreen tablet PC.
“Younger children will be able to use simple keyboards to get going, and older children will be able to switch between keyboards customised for applications as well as for multiple languages,” said the organisation.
Geekpics offers some stats as well.
The next gernation OLPC (the XO-2) will have:
Dual 16x9 proportioned sunlight-readable touch screens
Keyboard and touchpad both replaced by touch screens
Physically smaller than XO-1; size and weight more like a book
1 watt power consumption
Target price of US$75 to large educational buyers
Check out a video of the features:
Better coverage of the unveiling-of-the-plan reveals that the gadget is aimed to be cheaper than even the current $188. Now the current XO was targetted at 100$ and it came out at 188. The XO-2 is targetted at $75! Only time will tell how it comes out and what it actually offers.
As tekno_boy puts it, "Forget MACbook Air, the coolest thing on the horizon in the computing world might be something bound for the third world."