OLPC XO 3 gets long overdue unveiling
The One Laptop Per Child project's long-in-waiting XO-3 tablet, now called the XO 3.0, will get its formal unveiling at CES. The eight-inch, 1024x768 slate will have a ruggedized body to survive rural schools and, like the original notebooks, consumes very little power. OLPC notes that it can take energy from a solar panel and that a hand crank can give it 10 minutes of power for every minute of turning, letting it work even in remote areas where electricity isn't guaranteed.
Transflective LCDs much more visible outdoors
3M's New Ventures organization has invested in Pixel Qi Corp., a developer of next generation LCD panels. Pixel Qi's unique screens can generate either e-paper output or high-intensity images for much better outdoor visibility than other contemporary LCDs. Mary Lou Jepsen, co-founder and CEO of Pixel Qi, said the funding would accelerate the company's product into the mass consumer market. She also said the company would continue to pursue mobile device manufacturers and digital signage applications.
OLPC speeds up touchscreen tablet plans
The One Laptop Per Child project team today said it was stepping up the schedule for its XO-3 tablet. The touchscreen, sub-$100 tablet is now due to have first appearance at CES 2011, two years ahead of schedule, but will shed some of its original ambitions to get to that point. It should instead be based on Marvell's Moby platform and use a 1GHz ARM processor; the design won't use an all-plastic, waterproof shell and should be thicker than the quarter inch set out earlier as a target.
OLPC 2 Early Details
The One Laptop Per Child project plans a radical revision of its notebook that will make it at least as advanced as other PCs, organization head Nicholas Negroponte has revealed today at the OLPC Global Country Workshop. Superficially resembling Nintendo's DS Lite, version 2.0 of the XO will use two touchscreens that adapt to a given context; the design will change keyboard sizes to accommodated older children and adults, and both screens can combine to form a single display used for games and other activities that involve two users at the same time.
OLPC XO to get XP by fall
Microsoft tonight revealed that the highly talked-about OLPC XO – a laptop initially designed for students in developing countries – will ship with Windows XP as an option in August or September, with some countries to get the low-cost ultraportable sooner. Engadget expects that in the future, the operating system will most likely replace the current Sugar front-end offered in the XO, but OLPC has not explicitly said anything to support the theory. The build is allegedly the same as that of the Eee PC, with custom drivers for the XO hardware.
OLPC project turmoil
The One Laptop Per Child project is undergoing serious internal problems, InfoWorld reports. The non-profit group is said to be in the middle of a massive restructuring effort, prompted by an organization described by chairman Nicholas Negroponte as "almost like a terrorist group, doing almost impossible things." OLPC is now hunting for a new CEO, and its director of Security Architecture, Ivan Krstić, has announced his resignation.
Intel Classmate PC in US
Intel will sell its Classmate PC notebook in its home territory of the US as well as in Europe, the company said Thursday. While the PC was designed for developing-world countries where cost and a toughened design are necessary, a refreshed version of the Classmate will be available in the more developed areas within weeks from today. Other companies are expected to follow with designs of their own, though whether this includes known "netbook" designs such as the ECS G10IL or the Eee PC 900 is unknown.
Gartner: Eee rivals coming
ASUS' fledgling Eee PC is doing extremely well, the company reports. It expects to sell over 400,000 systems by January, and at a tradeshow in Taipei last week, it sold out all 5,000 units it brought for the occasion. Targeted sales for 2008 could be in excess of 3.8 million. This very success could, however, become a problem for ASUS, notes the research firm Gartner. It has already attracted competition, such as from the Chinese company Hasee, which is building a stripped-down 13.3-inch laptop.
OLPC Team Nigerian Lawsuit
The One Laptop Per Child project today was found to be the target of a lawsuit from Lagos Analysis over the XO notebook's keyboard. Known for short as LANCOR, the US-based but Nigerian-owned firm has filed the complaint in Nigeria claiming that the OLPC team deliberately reverse-engineered its keyboard driver code. By including multiple Shift keys to accommodate special characters in non-English languages, the XO violates LANCOR's own patents for a similar technology used in a dedicated international keyboard; the OLPC team bought two of the keyboards with the explicit purpose of stealing the technology inside, the Nigerian firm claims.