Laptop for poor children set for mass production
July 23, 2007
The initiative will sell the PCs to education ministries in an effort to get the computers in the hands of some world's poorest children.
The laptops have been billed as a durable low-cost PC for students in developing countries. The project has received support from Google, AMD, Brightstar, News Corporation, Quanta Computer, and Red Hat. The laptop, which was tested by the U.S. State Department in last November, is WiFi- and cell phone-enabled, and can be powered using a hand-crank. It is designed to be used in harsh environments such as remote rural areas in developing countries. The weather-proof laptops will available in some 30 colors.
The laptop has faced other criticism, notably from some development experts who say that developing countries should not be asked to foot the bill for what is an unproven technology. Nevertheless the OLPC computer has won acclaim from the U.N. and the U.S. state department.
Earlier this month Intel announced that it had teamed with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program, agreeing to contribute funding and join the board of the nonprofit group. The announcement despite Intel chairman Craig Barrett's earlier criticism of the project. Intel had sought to boost support for its own child-focused Classmate PC.