Have you heard of OLPC? OLPC stands for One Laptop per Child, which is a project supported by the Miami-based One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA) and the Cambridge-based OLPC Foundation (OLPCF), two U.S. non-profit organizations set up to oversee the creation of affordable educational devices for use in the developing world.
OLPC program has been pretty successful in helping students from developing nations get some hands on computer experience, but as you know the world is shifting towards touchscreen devices, and the rate of transformation is amazing. Now we have tablets which can do most of the work a laptop can do, so it would make logical sense for OLPC program to develop a tablet, and they have done that.
OLPC has announced a new 7 inch Android powered tablet that will be sold commercially and will be including a set of learning software. It is not the first time that the organization is making tablets. Previously, at the last year’s CES, the non-profit organization had showed off its XO-3 tablet, which was an 8 incher and was due to be shipped last year, but the plan was cancelled due to various problems posed by the supply chain.
Nevertheless, the organization has said that some technologies which are derived from XO-3, including features such as flexible power input and charging efficiency, would make into future OLPC hardware. As of now, they won’t be concentrating much on the hardware development aspect and will be more engaged on education projects.
“The challenge in computing and education is to use the technology to develop new ways for children to learn. The rich content of the dreams allows the child’s natural passion to be directed into learning experiences,” said Giulia D’Amico, the lead designer of XO Learning. “With the popularity of tablets, the standards and specifications of the devices are converging to one worldwide standard,” said D’Amico. “The expectation of the tablet user in the U.S., India and South Africa is the same.”
To be on the safer side, OLPC has revealed that they have struck a deal with Sakar International, which gives the latter exclusives rights “to sell the XO Tablet to leading US retailers for both in-store and online sales.” Since the tablet will be sold commercially, the device will be made at available ‘select’ Wal-Mart later this year. There’s no information on the pricing, but it has got to be fairly priced since OLPC is a non-profit organization.
If we take a look at OLPC’s previous records, the XO-3 was initially priced at US$75, which was later revised to $100. OLPC’s first hardware, the XO-1 laptop, was promised to come with a $100 price tag, but after several delays the product shipped at double the initial price tag. The XO Tablet which was announced today will include a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, 8GB of storage, a MicroSD card slot, a MicroUSB port, and cameras on front and rear. The display will have a resolution of 1024-by-600 pixel. How much will you pay for this tablet? Let us know in the comment section below.