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Displays Education Portables

OLPC's XO-3 Prototype Tablet Coming In 2010 148

itwbennett writes "During an interview Tuesday at the MIT Media Lab, OLPC project founder Nicholas Negroponte said that the group will have a working prototype of the XO-3 tablet by December of this year. 'At CES [2011] we will show a tablet that can be and will be used for children probably in the developed world,' Negroponte said. 'You'll see from us, God willing, an ARM tablet,' he said. 'The screen area will probably be a 9-inch diagonal, maybe more.' The most important feature will be a dual-mode display that will allow it to be used indoors and outdoors. Price: $75."
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OLPC's XO-3 Prototype Tablet Coming In 2010

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  • dual-mode display (Score:2, Informative)

    by by (1706743) ( 1706744 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @01:16PM (#32364444)
    This seems like a wonderful idea. My handheld GPS [] has one of these -- it can function with a backlight in the dark just fine, but turn the backlight off, take it outside, and it's a perfectly readable, color display which draws hardly any power.
  • Pixel Qi display? (Score:3, Informative)

    by niko9 ( 315647 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @01:31PM (#32364698)

    Boy, I hope they're using Mary Lou Jepsen's Pixel Qi ( screens. I am far from a hardcore programming geek, but I could use something like this for a simple E-reader and Mutt email device.

    She also has a blog: []

    Supposedly, hackers will be able to buy raw screens for DIY projects. Might be ideal for hooking up to a BeagleBoard.

  • by jekewa ( 751500 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @01:31PM (#32364702) Homepage Journal

    If you want a keyboard, plug it in the USB port or connect it with Bluetooth, tablet willing...

  • Re:Pixel Qi display? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2010 @01:41PM (#32364862)

    Wow, have people forgotten already? Mary Lou Jepsen developed the Pixel Qi display technology while working on the XO-1. She then created Pixel Qi to commercialize that technology. Why is everyone acting like these displays are something new? They were in the XO-1 and are one of the features that haven't been matched by netbooks. So yeah, these displays in the XO-3 are probably (definitely) using the same technology, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are somehow subcontracting to Pixel Qi.

  • Re:Sell outs (Score:2, Informative)

    by foxharp ( 1048608 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @01:49PM (#32365008)
    while there have been trials of Windows-based XO laptops, there are zero major deployments using windows. there are 1.5 miliion laptops being used, today, somewhere in the world. and they all run linux.
  • by DrBuzzo ( 913503 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @01:49PM (#32365026) Homepage
    You obviously have little experience with what sand, dirt, grit and hands can do to a screen. If anything the screen is the bigger problem. There's really no such thing as "scratchproof" material and the issue with touchscreens is it makes the problem far far worse by encouraging users to grind in the dirt and muck up the screen. If anything, a keyboard is less of a problem. Membrane switches are very durable and can deal with dirt and grime much more easily.
  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @01:58PM (#32365162)
    have you tried reading much of anything in full sunlight outside using a netbook? And what about mesh networking, drop tests and all the other engineering which makes the XO more than just a little computer.

    you've obviously never understood what the original requirements for the OLPC project was. Google for how Intel loaded up a classroom with their little ClassmatePC netbooks and then had to go back and drop a large diesel generator outside the classroom so the kids could use the devices throughout the day.

    OLPC XO is not a netbook.

  • Re:Pixel Qi display? (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnujoshua ( 540710 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:05PM (#32365298) Homepage
    It seems likely that they will use the Pixel Qi display. See this story: "Breaking News: OLPC & Pixel Qi to Share XO Laptop Screen Patents AND All Current & Future Display IP" , []
  • by foxharp ( 1048608 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:22PM (#32365564)
    there are 1.5 million kids out there using OLPC laptops. for example, every elementary school kid in uruguay has an XO. i'm having trouble seeing the failure in this.
  • "Hopefully these devices will be a lot more idiot-proof than netbooks."

    That thing is not idiot-proof. It is for children, and built in a way to survive them, but not idiot-proof. The designers even expect the children to learn Python.

  • Re:dual-mode display (Score:3, Informative)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:38PM (#32365802) Homepage

    While your device has probably quite "ordinary" transflective screen (which is good at what it does, don't get me wrong) - this new screen is most likely very noticeably better.

    Check out pics from the blog of its manufacturer [] (essentially they also made the screen for XO-1). Or look up videos on Youtube - a lot of them depicting early, still unoptimised prototypes from a year ago; shot by very visibly amateur 3rd party videographers during trade shows (yes, outside), and the screen still looks fabulous. One tablet announced some time ago ("Adam"?...) also uses it IIRC; and we should see quite a bit of new products at Computex soon.

  • Reality check (Score:4, Informative)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @02:57PM (#32366166)

    but like so many muggles out there, Negroponte believed the crap Microsoft was telling him.

    OLPC was sold as a take-it-or-leave-it package deal to the third world education minister.

    The hardware. The software. Linux, FOSS and SUGAR.

    The constructivist philosophy of education - the classroom without a teacher, to simplify things drastically.

    The education minister wasn't buying into any of this.

    The push for Windows and Office came from him.

    Deployment of the XO beyond Central and South America was and remains insignificant, with the sole exception of Rwanda - and that came a year after dual-booting XP and MS Office became an option.

    Total confirmed deployment is about 1.3 million units. One Laptop Per Child [] [Summary of laptop orders}


  • by nani popoki ( 594111 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @03:31PM (#32366828) Homepage
    Apparently (according to this [] posting), the XO-3 will be a re-branded Marvel Moby tablet. So much for rugged designed-for-kids. Several articles have appeared today on OLPC News about the deal.
  • by BikeHelmet ( 1437881 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:42PM (#32368830) Journal []

    There you go... Android tablet for $100 shipped.

    I got a 7 inch netbook off eBay (from Hong Kong) for $60 shipped. It has crappy WinCE 5, though. :P

  • Re:Sell outs (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:14PM (#32369194) Journal

    The OLPC project is not about a rugged Linux computer with all open source software

    I heard Alan Kay talk about OLPC a few years ago, and you're not quite right. It was about those things, but it wasn't exclusively about those things. One of the goals was to help bootstrap local high-tech industry. The OLPC had to be an entirely open design in the hardware and open source in the software, because one goal was for their customers to start making their own.

    He was hoping that countries like India and China, with an established manufacturing base, would take their designs, improve them, mass produce their own, and undercut them. As he said, the nice thing about being a non-profit is that you can be happy when someone manages to undercut you, because the goal is getting the machines to children, not making money.

    The open source side was vital, because it meant that the customers could build their own local software industry around it. They could modify any aspect of the machine - hardware or software - and sell improved versions. The children could study every aspect of how the machine worked, could modify it, and could become the first generation of software (and hardware) developers in some of the target countries.

    From what I saw, the project started to go downhill as it shifted from Kay's vision to Negroponte's. Mind you, that's typical Alan Kay - he has a way of being right that makes people want to disagree with him.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein