XO Tablet nominated for the 2013 She Knows Parenting Awards

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We are very excited to announce that the XO Tablet has been nominated for the 2013 She Knows Parenting Awards!

The XO Tablet has made it as a finalist in the ‘tablets for kids’ category. Here is a link to the page where you can vote.

Voting is live between today, September 24th and October 7th – and ANYONE can vote - so as they say, ‘vote early and vote often!’ and pass along to friends and colleagues!

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Government of Uruguay to Distribute One Laptop Per Child Designed XO Tablets to Pre-School Children

First Country to Adopt OLPC Laptops at Full 1:1 Saturation Will Be First Country to Receive XO Tablets

XO Tablets Will Feature Local Books and Be Customized for Uruguayan School System

MIAMI— One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) will provide the government of Uruguay with 8,000 of its newly released XO Tablets for distribution to pre-school and first grade children in the country. The OLPC/Uruguay pilot program (Plan Ceibal) is the world’s first government program designed to get educational technology into the hands of children ages six and under.

“Plan Ceibal has been one of the early adopters of the OLPC laptop, and Uruguay is the first country to have deployed and reached one-to-one laptop student and teacher saturation. We are very aware of the importance of integrating pedagogy and technology to enrich the educational experience of our children,” said Uruguayan government official, Miguel Brechner. “The engaging and intuitive nature of touch-screen technology, as well as the way OLPC has presented the contents of the tablet, will enable us to connect students and broaden their cognitive opportunities at an even younger age.”

The XO Tablet, designed and developed by OLPC, features OLPC’s XO Learning System and provides children with access to state-of-the-art educational content that has been curated and selected for age-appropriateness and learning value by OLPC. In addition to the XO Learning System content available on every XO Tablet, the 8000 XO Tablets distributed to children in Uruguay will be customized for the region and will be preloaded with local content to meet the requirement of the Uruguayan school system.

“There is early evidence, both empirical and anecdotal, to support the efficacy of tablets and touchscreen technology as learning devices for children as young as ages two to five,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, OLPC Chairman and CEO. “As such, adding a fully functional and educationally focused tablet is a natural extension of the OLPC mission and an excellent complement to our existing and continuing laptop program.”

The XO Tablet, and its XO Learning interface, run on the Android’s latest OS. To ensure compatibility and interoperability with the nearly 2.5 million laptops OLPC has distributed since 2005, OLPC is converting the Sugar software currently used in XO laptops to the Android system. Once the conversion is complete, Sugar will be made available via download free of charge. The porting of Sugar into Android will give XO Tablet users access to OLPC’s previously developed educational content.

The XO Tablet, which is manufactured and distributed by OLPC strategic partner, Vivitar, is currently available for purchase in the U.S. at Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and Walmart stores. These strategic retail partners have in common a commitment and history of empowering children to learn, and in 2008, Amazon was instrumental in the execution of OLPC’s “Give 1 Get 1” program to sponsor laptops for children in developing countries. OLPC’s proceeds from sales of the XO Tablet will further the organization’s global mission by enabling further development of the XO Learning System, updating existing apps and software to facilitate interoperability between XO Tablets and Laptop and by subsidizing distribution of the tablets to children throughout the world.

About XO Tablet, XO Learning and One Laptop per Child

The XO Tablet has been fully designed and developed by OLPC to harness the power of a connected touchscreen device to create new ways for children to learn-how-to-learn. Its launch also marks the global debut of the XO Learning System, designed as a child-centric interface to empower kids to build, learn and dream as part of OLPC’s mission. OLPC was launched in 2005 at the MIT Media Lab as a project to provide a modern education to every child around the world through access to laptops and connected devices. The organization has since distributed 2.5 million of its specially designed XO laptops to children in 60 countries, and the XO Tablet extends that experience into a modern tablet form factor. All within the philosophy of Learning-by-doing advocated by the Media Lab throughout the years.

About Vivitar

Vivitar is a leading provider of photographic, audio and optic devices and related accessories with a rich 75-year heritage of technology innovation and affordability dating back to 1938. Building off the success of its legendary Series-1 lenses and flashes, the company has steadily expanded its product portfolio to include cameras, camcorders, accessories and now tablets tailored to the needs of today’s families. Vivitar is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, with additional offices across the United Kingdom, Latin America, Canada and Hong Kong, and global retail distribution spanning more than 100,000 locations in both mass market and specialty channels. For more information, visit www.vivitar.com.

Visit OLPC at www.one.laptop.org

For FAQ’s, where to buy and more information on the XO Tablet, visit www.xotablet.com.

OLPC about Aakash

In view of certain recent statements, One Laptop Per Child Association, Inc (“OLPC”) would like to clarify that Mr. Satish Jha has not been affiliated with OLPC since August 31, 2012. Mr. Jha does not represent OLPC or any of its affiliated entities and the views expressed by Mr. Jha do not represent the views of OLPC or any of its affiliates.

OLPC has always encouraged projects expanding the learning opportunities of children in the developing world including the Aakash initiative in India. OLPC is dedicated to providing the world’s children with access to an innovative education. OLPC supports all efforts dedicated to this end and it encourages the makers of the Aakash initiative to continue to explore such educational initiatives. Moreover, OLPC applauds the efforts of the Government of India as it continues to examine new and innovative ways to educate the children of India.

OLPC was created to design, manufacture and distribute educational laptop computers to children around the world. Inquiries related to any existing or future OLPC projects should be directed to OLPC, which is based in Miami, Florida.

A visit to Wonchi: OLPC’s Ethiopian Literacy Project

Evan Szablowski was in Addis Ababa, spending a week meeting Ethiopian entrepreneurs. Michael, one of the tech leads for our literacy project in Ethiopia, was one of the people he met with. He was captivated by the literacy project, and on hearing that Michael was heading to Wonchi (one of the two villages taking part in it), he and his teammates decided to tag along.

While he was there he met some of the students eager to show off how they liked to use the tablets (they are using Motorola Xoom tablets with mainly off-the-shelf Android literacy apps, with a few custom apps and tweaks by OLPC). At some point, one of the children (below) stood up to quiz the others on what they were learning.

Evan wrote up the experience in a beautiful essay on his new blog, illustrated with photos from the day.



While this is just one anecdote from the project, the photo series is priceless, and puts the whole effort in context: the geography of the town, the social setup of the small farming community, and the economic circles of the village and the technicians supporting them.

An overwhelming sense of excitement and optimism overtook us, and we couldn’t stop smiling as we watched. We left with such a feeling of inspiration and optimism, amazed at witnessing two completely different worlds [fuse] with one another… Zach said this was the best thing he has done in a long time, and I agreed.

I hope they realize it someday. I hope that someday one of those kids will say, ‘When I was only 4 years old, the laptop project from MIT came to my village, and it forever changed my future.’ What an amazing perspective that person will have.

This was not foreign aid, or handouts… This was education, and just the first step in enabling them. Enabling the young minds of Africa for brighter futures. For a brighter nation, and a brighter continent.

@Evan: Thank you for sharing the day with us!

XO + touchscreen = XO Touch

The next iteration of the XO will finally have a fully armed and operational tablet mode, thanks to an optical touchscreen from Neonode.

This week we signed a licensing agreement with them to embed their optical touchscreens into future ‘XO Touch’ laptops. The XO Touch will be a true laptop + tablet, with the same 7.5” sunlight-readable display, and Neonode’s fast-scanning multitouch. There are a lot of applications I have in mind for those prototypes…

Neonode are energy-conscious, thanks to their history of work with mobile devices, and have features such as gesture-activated wakeup that will help the XO remain the lowest-power laptop around. Neonode is also proud of their screen’s low-latency pen or brush sensors, and ability to sense proximity, pressure, and depth and measure object-size.

Leaders of both projects commented on the partnership:

Thomas Eriksson, Neonode CEO:

We are honored to be collaborating with OLPC to produce the XO Touch, a truly pioneering and sustainable device that shows the broad versatility of our technology. This market entry confirms that our MultiSensing technology makes it possible to create a top class product that is both affordable and extremely energy saving and still has a user interface that is radical enough to satisfy the uncompromising demands of knowledge- and entertainment-thirsty children. Our company philosophy is to contribute to a better and happier world, and we have the opportunity to do so by supporting OLPC’s mission.

Rodrigo Arboleda, OLPCA CEO:

OLPC is proud to partner with an organization that shares its appreciation for innovative and transformative technology. Neonode’s expertise in engineering and design will turn the XO Touch, which combines the best features of laptop and tablet, into a next-level innovative machine.

Walter Bender on the future of OTPC

Walter Bender recently talked to USAID’s Mobiles for Education (mEducation) monthly seminar group about OLPC’s tablet development, the future of Sugar, and a future where every child has their own tablet.  They wrote up a nice summary of his talk.

As exciting as the introduction of the new tablet was for the small group of attendees at the seminar, Sugar was the focus of the discussion and one that Mr. Bender talked passionately about.  Designed on OLPC’s principle of “Low floor, no ceiling”, it’s designed for inexperienced users, providing a platform, or low floor, on which to explore, create, and collaborate without any limits to its possibilities.

Exploration is key to Mr. Bender’s philosophy.  Designing Sugar and the computers from a “constructivist” perspective, he referred to Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and his learning theory of “learning by doing” when discussing the intuitiveness of the system.  “We want to raise a generation of independent thinkers and problem solvers, “ he said after displaying a picture of students taking apart and fixing one of OLPC’s laptops.  “Every deployment has students who repair computers and they are designed so that students can fix them themselves.”

New XO-3 image gallery online

A new batch of photos of the XO-3 in use is up on the posted on the OLPC wiki, along with images of the alpha test boards and schematics.

Nothing like a little transparency to start the week off right…  This is still not the final ID, there are still changes being made to the ports and cover, but we’re getting verrry close.

The XO-3 tablet is on display at CES

As foreshadowed 18 months ago, an XO-3 prototype is debuting at CES this weekend, and will be shown off next week at the Marvell booth. Here is a sneak peek at what it looks like:

If you are heading to CES, you can stop by and see it yourself! Ping Giulia to set up an appointment, or drop by the Marvell booth. Charbax of olpc.tv will be on site as always, recording some video and interviews.

The XO-3 will sport a 1024×768 Pixel Qi screen, half-gig of RAM, and a Marvell Armada PXA618 chip. Some of the soft cover designs proposed so far include a built-in solar panel. More updates coming over the next week; for now, here is our CES press release.

The XO-3 is still planned to enter production at the end of this year.

OLPC and Marvell announce the XO-3 tablet

Also: The first Marvell ARMADA-powered XO 1.75 laptop will begin shipping in March to school children in Uruguay and Nicaragua

SANTA CLARA, Calif. / LAS VEGAS (Jan. 9, 2012) – Marvell Semiconductor (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, and One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping every child in the world gain access to a modern education, demonstrated a version of the much-anticipated XO 3.0 – a low-cost, low-power, rugged tablet computer designed for classrooms around the globe – at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show.

“We’re proud to introduce the XO 3.0 tablet, showcasing the design, durability and performance features that make it a natural successor for our current laptops, which have been distributed to more than 2.4 million children in 42 countries and in 25 languages,” said Ed McNierney, Chief Technology Officer of One Laptop per Child. “The XO 3.0 builds on many of the technology breakthroughs we made with the XO 1.75, including the use of the Marvell® ARMADA® PXA618 processor, resulting in a significant decrease in power consumption-a critical issue for students in the developing world.”

“Marvell is committed to improving education–and the human condition-around the world through innovative technology for Smartphones, tablets and a myriad of new cloud-delivered services. Partnering with One Laptop Per Child is one way we can deliver a revolution where it matters most-to benefit children in some of the poorest places on the planet,” said Tom Hayes, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Marvell, and a member of the OLPC advisory board. “Marvell has been with One Laptop per Child from the start, and we’re doing whatever it takes to help the organization realize its mission of providing meaningful educational opportunities to the 500 million school-aged children around the world.”

Marvell and One Laptop per Child also announced today that the XO -1.75 laptop will begin shipping to customers in March 2012. Over 75,000 units of the XO 1.75 have already been ordered by OLPC projects in Uruguay and Nicaragua. Both models use the Marvell ARMADA PXA618 SOC processor, which doubles the performance of the earlier XO 1 while using only half the power. The XO 1.75 features a sunlight-readable screen, and all other features and design characteristics of the two previous versions of the XO laptop.

The XO 3.0 tablet will also feature the Avastar Wi-Fi system-on-chip.
It is also the only tablet that can be charged directly by solar panels, hand cranks and other alternative power sources

Other features include:

• Updated Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display
• Choice of Android or Linux operating systems
• Unique charging circuitry to support alternate power sources
• Choice of laptop covers, including one with built-in solar panel

XO-1.75 this summer: lower power, hopefully lower cost

The XO-1.75 prototypes are currently under development, and the laptops will enter mass production this summer. Some touchscreen prototypes are being made as well, but the primary model will not have touch. Thanks to Armada 610 ARM processors and improved Pixel Qi screens, the 1.75 will draw roughly half the power of the 1.5, while keeping roughly the same form factor and most of the existing industrial design.

These will be our first models with ARM chips, which we plan to use in our tablet designs later this year. The 1.75 should be roughly $20 cheaper to manufacture, than the 1.5, but the real drop in cost will come for rural deployments, as a result of the lessened power requirements. Not quite in the human-powerable range yet, but getting there.

The XO-3 will have a larger 9.7″ screen when it comes out in 2012, and will shave off another significant fraction of power – up to another full Watt.

India’s tantalizing tablet

As noted here last week, India’s Human Resource Development Minister Sibal announced an interest in distributing a $35 touchscreen tablet to students across India.  Charbax demonstrated the reference design used is likely from AllGo Embedded Systems, which recently displayed a matching ARM device.

While Fast Company, Wired, (and later All Things Considered) have responded  skeptically to the proposed cost, let’s assum that one day we will be able to make such tablets, just as we now have $100 laptops. (I don’t think they are far off – we likewise think we can have a more powerful, rugged tablet for twice that cost by the following year.)  What I want to know is: will the government invest in a national deployment, in providing equal access to rich and poor, and in the connectivity infrastructure needed to make this a truly empowering shift?

Some of the statements made suggest the government are considering a nation-wide 50% subsidy and promotion across over 5,000 schools. That’s a fantastic start — I hope their interest persists long enough to start such a project in earnest.


Update: We would be glad to share any of our tech and experience with an India project to help their vision succeed. Nicholas published an open letter to the Ministry inviting them to Cambridge.

$20-$40 laptops, in bits and pieces

Humane Reader‘s $20 offline reader : needs only an external display, cables, and keyboard for a 38x25 monochrome display of Wikipedia or whatever text you please. Offered in XO green, it has been designed more as a tool for hackers than a scalable solution for offline reading.  From its own website:

The palm-sized device comes with an SD Card reader for storage and a micro-usb connector for both power and USB device action! The expansion headers break out maximum hackability, and are compatible with most Arduino expansion shields. Use most existing Arduino software, or write from fresh to take full advantage of the audio, video, IR, and keyboard capabilities of the platform.

And there’s talk of a $35 touchscreen tablet : Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal is personally promoting a reportedly $35 tablet computer, which he says will be available sometime in 2011. Charbax makes the case that he is referring to (and demoing) an AllGo reference design, which was on display in June’s Freescale Tech Forum.  They are still looking for a manufacturer.

Fast Company is extremely skeptical, since India’s last $10 computer was overhyped and misleadingly promoted. It wasn’t a laptop or even an entire computer, it was… hey, wait a minute… it was a cheaper Humane Reader, only done in white and with no industrial design! 

These look like fun, but not something I would necessarily want to use for too long at a stretch. In contrast, I’ve been toting my XO-1.5 HS around all week, and it is very satisfying… more after the jump.
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XO-3 update: OLPC and Marvell partner to design a line of tablets

XO-3 design by Yves Behar
XO-3 taking a photo

This post is now in French on the OLPC France blog – thanks, Lionel!

I’m happy to announce that today we finalized a partnership with Marvell to design a line of education-focused tablet computers. Some of these will be OLPC machines targeted for the developing world, such as the XO-3. The line will be based both on Marvell’s reference design for its Moby tablet and on OLPC’s XO-3 designs (particularly for the low-power end of the line).  (Hat-tip to Charbax for predicting this in March.)

Update: see also this video of Nicholas discussing our current tablet plans. (If you look closely, you can see that some of the highlights were from a talk in the new Media Lab building.)

The first tablets in the line will be based closely on the Moby, ”’not”’ the XO-3, and focused more on children in the developed world. They will be on display at CES 2011 in January, and available next year for under $100. The original XO-3 design is still planned for 2012.  More details after the jump.

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