updated 02:35 pm EDT, Tue May 27, 2008
OLPC XO2 Multi-Touch
The One Laptop Per Child project's XO2 notebook will use an improved form of multi-touch display when it ships, says Mary Lou Jepsen of the display's creator company, Pixel Qi, in a new interview with Laptop. Instead of using an iPhone-like technique that sandwiches the touch-sensitive layer in between the glass and an LCD, the XO2 will use an in-cell touchscreen where the receptors are woven into the display itself. The process both saves money by reducing the production to a single part and also produces a brighter screen without the need for a surface layer.
Jepsen doesn't explain what apps on the child-oriented PC are likely to use multi-touch, though Apple uses multi-touch on the iPhone and iPod for zooming into images and websites.
The dual LCDs proposed for the XO2 also promise additional breakthroughs, including one of the largest screens to incorporate haptic (vibration) feedback for certain events as well as improvements to readability outside, where touchscreens sometimes suffer. These displays should also be extremely power efficient and will actually help OLPC reach its goal of one watt or less of average power use, according to the report.
News of the enhanced screen makes the XO2 the first notebook known to include a multi-touch display. While Apple and ASUS have already begun implementing multi-touch into their systems through the trackpads of MacBooks and Eee PCs, neither has yet announced plans to build the advanced input into the screens themselves.