Friday, March 23, 2007

OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) at the BarCamp Portland Meetup

I was lucky enough to get to play with a real OLPC last night at the BarCamp Portland Meetup. I was surprised by how durable it looked. The keyboard looked like you could dump an entire drink on it without any adverse consequences; however, we refrained from testing it!

A few people commented that these would be great for kids ... regardless of whether they are located in an emerging economy. In places like the US, Europe and other areas, we might be willing to pay a little more to have a durable laptop for the under 8 years old crowd. This might help subsidize the costs and make it easier to provide an OLPC to more children around the world. In addition to providing a stable revenue stream among customers willing to pay a little more knowing that profits were going to a good cause, opening these up for sale to others would increase the volume enough to help reduce the production costs. I've heard that they are having a hard time making these for less than $100, and additional volume might help.

Thanks again to Alex for bringing it and generously letting us play with his toys!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In fact, it has been tested. When we took a couple of OLPC's up to Intel a couple of months back I watched in horror as an Intel engineer was holding the laptop in one hand, his coffee cup in another, and almost in slow motion leaned over to look at something more closely on the laptop, and (inadvertantly, I hoped) poured coffee on the keyboard. Other than a small stain, it seemed to survive intact. -- Prof Budd (