By Ed Oswald | Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:42 am
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) officials on Tuesday outlined an ambitious program to bring a tablet PC to market within two years at a price of less than $100. This would be combined with efforts to upgrade and bring down the cost of the current XO laptop which has become the effort’s signature product.
An upgrade to the current model is due at a $200 price point next month. This will be followed by a touchscreen version of the XO laptop in 2011 at a price point of around $150, and finally the tablet which would make its way to market the following year.The tablet would be made of flexible plastic and would be a drastic departure from the current design of the laptop, officials say.
OLPC has struggled recently as the company was forced to lay off 50 percent of its workforce earlier this year. This likely had a lot to do with the worsening economy, which hit the tech sector fairly hard. But the initiative is trudging on, determined to complete its mission of providing technology to children in the developing world. Admirable, but of course a bit costly.
I for one am super curious as to how these folks are going to pull this off. I know you can’t tell much from pictures, but that looks like an awfully advanced device. How are you going to be able to build something like that for $100? I understand that advancements in technology these days are moving faster and faster, but we don’t even have products like this available to the general public right now, much less underprivileged kids around the world.
Hopefully this isn’t going to end up as vaporware, but right now it sure looks like it.