OLPC to produce sub $100 dual-touchscreen laptop


May 29, 2008

The XO-2

The XO-2

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May 30, 2008 The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project looks to be on track to meet its target of producing a laptop for a price per unit below US$100 set out when the initiative was launched in 2005. At a press event OLPC project founder Nicholas Negroponte gave the “State of the State” address on the project to date and the evolution of the XO laptop, presenting the design for the next generation of XO hardware. According to Negroponte, work is already underway on the "XO-2" laptop, which will be cheaper and smaller and will use less power than its predecessor. The XO-2, or XOXO as it's also called, comes with Nintendo DS-like dual-touchscreen displays, which allows one of the touchscreens to be used as a keyboard, which can be customized for different aged children, different applications or different languages.

The touchscreens are being developed by Pixel Qi, which was founded by former OLPC-CTO Mary Lou Jepsen who is also claiming the XO-2 will have multi-touch and haptic feedback and that they are even working on tactile feedback for the keyless device. Rather than relying on a secondary display layer to sense inputs, as used on most current touch screen devices such as Apple’s iPhone, the touchscreen capabilities will be integrated directly into the LCD. The XO-2 should be about the size of a book, reducing to just half the size of OLPC's current laptop, so it's easier for children, who often have a long journey to school, to carry around with them. The case will continue to be available in green and white, but children will be able to choose from a range of different-colored XO logos to help personalize their laptops.

The current purchase price for the XO laptop is $188, but the OLPC is hoping that, with the help of new developments in display and processor technologies and through using different hardware and software, it should be able to reduce the price per laptop below the $100 target and, according to a press release, it may be possible to achieve a price of $75. Similarly, power consumption, which is 4 watts for the current XO, will be reduced to 1 watt meaning a reduction in the time it takes children to recharge the laptop using a hand crank or other means.

According to current plans, the XO-2 should be available in 2010, but there are reports from info Sync World of an interim XO-1.5 which will be released in the spring of 2009 with the same design as the first generation but with fewer physical parts and at lower cost than the XO 1.0.

The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project's XO-2 laptop is to feature Nintendo DS-like dual-touchscreen displays with multi-touch and haptic feedback, and allows one of the touchscreens to be used as a customizable keyboard.


About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick
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