Fans of the One Laptop Per Child program were shocked and saddened to hear of the organisation's imminent demise this week. There's only one problem: OLPC isn't actually dead. Despite what some blogs are reporting, the organisation is alive and well… just not as alive and well as it once was.
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The OLPC Foundation is still on their quest to bring technology to less developed parts of the world, and the latest plan is to release the XO-4 Touch in 2013. It will be a tablet/laptop hybrid with a 7.5-inch, multitouch display designed for constant exposure to sunlight and a low-power Marvell chipset.
Just hours ago we reported that the One Laptop Per Child project was going to unveil their $US100 tablet at CES. And now we have some of the first official photos of the highly affordable, yet extremely durable device.
Last December, One Laptop per Child's XO-3 tablet was an impossible dream: semi-flexible plastic, multitouch, thinner than an iPhone, all for $US75. And while a Marvell partnership helps breathe life into XO-3, it won't be last year's fantasy device.
The dual-touchscreen XO-2 was a fantastical concept. But it's nothing on OLPC's XO-3, a hot, messy wet dream of a tablet: All semi-flexible plastic, multitouch, backlit and reflective ereading modes, thinner than an iPhone and $US75.
Kenny Irwin is an artist with a strange medium—microwaved plastic. His latest creation started out as an OLPC, but ended up looking like a slug made out of sushi. Did I mention that you could actually own this thing?
While it's probably not very practical for typical day-to-day laptop use, the Sugar Linux desktop environment, designed for the OLPC project, is a novel take on user interfaces. Now, Sugar Labs has released Sugar on a Stick, a version of the OS that is designed to boot, run and save data from and on a USB drive.
Sure, for gadget nuts like you and me, the XO OLPC may not quite have the grunt to be usable, but for the poor, indigenous communities out in the middle of the Northern Territory, it's fantastic. And a couple of days ago, the first OLPCs were officially handed out to Aboriginal primary school children at Shepherdson College on Elcho Island, Northern Territory.
In a bit of an about-face, India has placed a huge order for 250,000 OLPC XO laptops for their schools. This is a huge victory for the OLPC project.