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OLPC's XO-1.75 Laptop To Have a Multitouch Screen 171

angry tapir writes "One Laptop Per Child has revealed it is adding a multitouch screen to the upcoming XO-1.75 laptop and is modifying software to take advantage of the new hardware. The XO-1.75 with a touch-sensitive 8.9-inch screen will start shipping next year. The laptop will run on an Arm processor and is the successor to the current XO-1.5 laptop, which runs on a Via x86 processor. OLPC will also add a multitouch screen on the next-generation XO-3 tablet, which is due to ship in 2012. Fedora will continue to be the base Linux distribution for XO-1.75 as the laptop changes from the x86 to Arm architecture."
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OLPC's XO-1.75 Laptop To Have a Multitouch Screen

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:41PM (#32847152)
    "One C&D per child"
  • Yes, but (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Flyerman ( 1728812 ) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:41PM (#32847154) Journal
    Will there be another "Buy One, Give One" promotion?
  • Patent Problems? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:42PM (#32847162)
    The one thing with multi-touch is the possibility of patents interfering with the ability to use it. While this might not be a problem for some OSS projects or large companies with the ability to add in a few dollars to the price to pay for patent fees, I can see this being an issue for something as cost-conscious as the OLPC's laptop because even an extra $5 could make a huge difference.
    • I would assume that, barring their securing super-cheap/free licenses for themselves on the "well, these are designed for poor kids who can't afford to buy our actual products, so why not score ourselves a tax writeoff?" principle, the OLPC people would just include the hardware and basic software support(to the best of my knowledge, "X11 that can see more than one pointer at a time, based on a touchscreen" is safe "All the little refinements that make using an iPhone nice" is a patent minefield).

      From th
  • by GrumblyStuff ( 870046 ) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:42PM (#32847164)


    Yes, caps are like yelling. That was my intention.

    • by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @12:25AM (#32847568) Homepage

      Monitor? What? These things are convertable laptops, ffs. The minute I got my 1.0, I wished it had a touchscreen, as that would make tablet mode a *lot* more useful.

      • The minute I got my 1.0, I wished it had a touchscreen

        Of course you wish that. You paid $400 for a $100 device running crippleware designed for children: you're basically a mac user.

        • of course the fact they were selling $200-$300 worth of hardware for less than $200 isn't bad either.

          think of it like MSFT Office, unless your a student or a really large business your paying $300 + a seat for software that open office duplicates for free.

          • the fact they were selling $200-$300 worth of hardware for less than $200

            Funny, I thought you had to pay $400 to Get one. For that, you got your "$100" device, and an assurance that they Gave One to Starvin' Marvin as well. Did Marvin ever so much as Facetweet a thank you?

            • by orasio ( 188021 )

              You missed a couple of points.

              The 100 dollar quote was good to get attention, but everybody got it wrong. They said they would get to 100 dollars after reaching significant volumes. They didn't.

              Then, there's the dollar devaluation.
              In Uruguay, from our point of view, it wasn't that expensive. The original 100 dollars, at 26 pesos per dollar, meant 2600 pesos when they said it. When they shipped a hundred thousand laptops, the price was 175 dollars, but at the exchange rate of 20 pesos per dollar, it was 3500

              • Yup, I remember now. It was $400 for one device, plus a Free Warm Fuzzy (disclaimer: Free Warm Fuzzy costs $300). Did you get your Fuzzy?
    • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

      This is one of the nice things about resistive touch screens - you can have the advantage of touch, but you can also use a stylus to avoid smearing marks over your screen (as well as the advantages of extra precision when needed, and the screens also work with gloves etc). Capacitive touch is nice for my bedsite lamp, but for a phone/computer, I'd rather have something more practical.

      I've yet to come across a case where I wished I had multitouch. One mouse button is simpler, remember? It's only getting hype

  • How many (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:04PM (#32847250) Homepage

    How many children have the OLPC already? Three? Wouldn't it be better to focus on cheap production methods instead of adding the latest fad?

    • Re:How many (Score:5, Informative)

      by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:26PM (#32847348)
      According to various sources, 1,494,500. While that is a bit low when considering the 3 year span, it still is a pretty large number of kids who wouldn't have gotten any shot at technology otherwise.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Abcd1234 ( 188840 )

        Woah woah woah! Now, those look like "facts" and "numbers". If you can't blurt out baseless opinions and mindless gutfeel like the rest of us, you have no place here!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tsa ( 15680 )

        So actually the project is a succes. I always thought it was a total failure due to the constant bickering, the interference of MS, etc. I stand corrected. Thanks you.

        • Re:How many (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @05:18AM (#32848658) Journal
          Depends on how you measure success. It achieved a lot more than not doing it would have achieved. It achieved a lot less than their goals. With a project like this, I don't think you can really measure its success meaningfully in any time period shorter than a decade, and probably two.
      • According to "various sources", 1,494,497 of those devices have quit working, so "3" is probably closer to the number in active use.
      • According to various sources, 1,494,500. While that is a bit low when considering the 3 year span, it still is a pretty large number of kids who wouldn't have gotten any shot at technology otherwise.

        This is how it breaks down:

        Deployments of 300,000-500,000 units: Peru Uruquay
        Deployments of at least 100,000 units: Rwanda
        Deployments of at least 50,000 units: Argentina Columbia Mexico

        The remaining laptops have been shot-gunned across the globe. 2,000 units here. 5 to 10,000 units there. Never enough

    • My thoughts exactly on reading this.

      The whole point of OLPC was to provide internet access, textbook e-reading, paperless word processing, and some joy, to impoverished children, in a form that is both durable and affordable to charities and 3rd world government schemes. How does multi-touch help with any of that again?

      It sounds like it's just going to drive the price up, add an extra point of failure, and add a feature that even 99% of "1st world" consumer products hasn't bothered with.

      • by naz404 ( 1282810 )
        If you've actually gotten your hands on an OLPC XO unit, when it's rotated into e-reader tablet mode with the keyboard hidden, it ***NEEDS*** a touchscreen since the corner keypad & navigation buttons (mapped to cursor keys, pgup, pgdn, home, end) become useless when you need to do some mouse moving & clicking.

        It's just very natural given its design.

        Next, in terms of apps that can be developed, a whole new world opens once you shift to multi-touch as opposed to single-touch screens (piano
      • by gig ( 78408 )

        Multitouch is cheaper than mouse, and more useful to kids. Not just because they live in the 21st century, but because young kids can handle touch better than mouse. The mouse hardware may be cheaper, but it requires much more complicated software which makes mouse more expensive. And the Web works better with touch. Painting is better with touch. With touch you can emulate many real devices.

        But then again, OLPC is about serving the philanthropic needs of adults, not the practical needs of kids. So a mouse

        • The mouse hardware may be cheaper, but it requires much more complicated software which makes mouse more expensive.

          What are you smoking, and can i have some? Mouse hard/software is incredibly generic and simple, if this machine runs software based even losely on any OS used in the past 15 years, it will have built-in mouse support.

          As for the ipod touch comment, i dont know if you have one, but it just doesnt work for anything serious. It's ok for casual browsing or even short forum posts, but for anything more then a one-liner i would much prefer even my cramped 7" netbook. the ipod would be fine for the kids to reads n

    • Re:How many (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @05:17AM (#32848650) Journal

      No. The OLPC project took a lot of flack from the uninformed over the decision to make the entire stack open source, but this is one of the reasons. The project only has to focus on the new design, because anyone can make the old design due to its open nature. I was at a talk a couple of years ago by Alan Kay, who said that the nice thing about being a non-profit is that they want people to steal their ideas. If a country wants to have a few million of XO-1 laptops, they have the designs. If they have the manufacturing capability, they can build them themselves. If they don't, they can send the designs to a factory in India or China to do it. If they have the required local talent, they can tweak the designs and improve them.

      One of the goals of the OLPC project is that it should become self sustaining. They want future generations of the laptops to be designed and built by people who learned about the technology from playing with the earlier generations.

  • Multi-touch aimed at children in third world countries. Is it a laptop or a seedy, illegal tour of Bangkok?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The title and summary of the story contradict themselves.

    Title: "OLPC's XO-1.75 Laptop To Have a Multitouch Screen"

    Summary: "OLPC will also add a multitouch screen on the next-generation XO-3 tablet"

    The title is wrong; the summary is correct. Multitouch in XO-3. XO-1.75 will only have a touchscreen. Way to edit. I'm sorry for RTFA, I'm new here, won't happen again.

  • 3D (Score:2, Funny)

    by shird ( 566377 )

    Seriously, no 3D? How are they expected to use these things without 3D?

    If they really want to add something of value, add 3D and include a set of 3D glasses, it's clear this is where the future is headed. The writing is on the wall for 2D, OLPC needs to get with the times.

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @01:12AM (#32847738) Journal
    One thing that amazes me is how persistent Nicholas Negroponte is. Despite having setbacks, scandals, poor reception of his devices, countries renouncing their support of his project, and as far as I can tell no real success, he still keeps on coming. I don't know if he will accomplish anything with this next model, but if there is anything at all that can be accomplished by giving children one laptop each, this man will accomplish it.
  • It would be nice to be able to buy some, for testing.

  • by KonoWatakushi ( 910213 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:15AM (#32848854)

    For a long time, I have wanted a tablet like device which I can write/draw on, and use with pen-optimized input systems like ShapeWriter or HexInput. (Though ideally, I would like to write one myself...)

    Is there any such hardware? As far as I am aware, it should be possible to offer multitouch and a stylus in the same device. The lack of both makes such devices much less compelling.

  • Why not just give these kids cheap desktops? You can get a decent computer, likely more powerful than that OLPC, from Dell for maybe $200-$300. It doesn't have to be from Dell. I'm sure most of these nations have computer vendors assembling machines from low-cost Chinese components. Set up a deal with Microsoft for cheap copies of Windows, although I'm sure there are already these kinds of programs in place. I realize that the idea of running Windows on these machines is offensive to some, but the fact is t

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