The founder of MIT’s Media Lab and the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative, Nicholas Negroponte, has been driving this not-for-profit organisation for the past five years and now says that the only way his US$100 laptop will become a reality is if it is in fact a tablet.
OLPC has partnered with technology firm Marvell to create the next-generation OLPC XO tablet and this design is aiming to become a fixture not just at schools in developing economies but also in US classrooms.
The tablet was designed with feedback from the 2 million children and parents using the current XO laptop and will consume much less power, using one watt instead of five.
It will have a multi-lingual soft keyboard with touch feedback and an e-reader application that will give direct access to more than 2 million free books on the web.
Tablet more about education
However, Negroponte stated that the OLPC tablet would be much more of an educational device than tablet and e-readers on the market right now.
"While devices like e-readers and current tablets are terrific literary, media and entertainment platforms, they don’t meet the needs of an educational model based on making things, versus just consuming them," said Negroponte.
"Today’s learning environments require robust platforms for computation, content creation and experimentation – and all that at a very low cost.
"Through our partnership with Marvell, OLPC will continue our focus on designing computers that enable children in the developing world to learn through collaboration, as well as providing connectivity to the world’s body of knowledge," he added.
The Marvell tablet will have 1,080p full-HD encode and decode for high quality video, high performance 3D graphics, Flash 10 and two-way teleconferencing.
"(It) will fundamentally improve the way students learn by giving them more efficient and relevant – even fun tools to use. Education is the most pressing social and economic issue facing America," said Weili Dai, Marvell’s co-founder and vice-president and general manager of the consumer and computing business unit.
"I believe the Marvell Moby tablet can ignite a life-long passion for learning in all students everywhere. I am immensely proud of the capability of our Moby tablet and I am extremely honoured to partner with the inventor of the netbook market for education, Dr Nicholas Negroponte. I applaud his leadership, vision, passion and together we will make the world a better place."
By Marie Boran