“OLPC is a non-profit that planned to change the world, through cutting-edge technology, by connecting its poorest corners. And now it’s selling unnecessary gadgetry to middle-class Americans. Has it completely lost its way?”
Of course that’s harsh. The first OLPC netbook was a wonderful advancement in small cheap computers. There were creative concepts introduced that are still valid today. The new XO tablet is instead made from COTS parts and only the packaging is unique. Selling at Walmart will generate revenue to fund distribution in emerging countries, bridging the digital divide.
At Walmart the price is ~$150 and these are the advertised features:
- Fully functional Android tablet
- Parental safety controls
- Educational content
- Customizable interface allows multiple users to cutomize tablet to their favourite character
XO app store
There is distinctive stuff over and above a standard Android/Linux tablet and it is customizable for any market. What is the authour of TFA bitching about? From what I see on US TV USAians need to bridge the digital divide too and spruce up their spotty educational system. The XO tablet should fit right in.
“The new family-friendly XO Tablet debuts July 16 on Walmart.com and will be in Walmart stores on August 1, and will provide kids with a fun and exciting new way to build, learn and dream at their own pace via a powerful Android tablet packed with free educational games, apps, videos, e-books and more. The flexible tablet also grows with the family offering up to three separate user accounts plus full-fledged Android tablet functionality with parental-controlled access to conventional Android apps and the Google Play store.”
Young children are uninhibited and need IT that works for them. The XO tablet has a role and should be sold globally. Young children have poor hand-eye coordination and appreciate cartoon-like colours. The XO tablet has that in spades. The current version is English/Spanish. Next will come French/Italian for Europe.
OLPC is a non-profit organization but to produce a product for the world it needs revenue and the established markets for IT has that. Since most of the devices in that market are for grown-ups, it makes sense for OLPC to ship units there at market-prices as a source of revenue and also to improve the life of children there. They can then ship units at subsidized prices to the rest of the world. Think about it. That’s not much different than the previous “by two, give one” campaign. Whatever works…