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OLPC's New Tablet Will Reach Millions of Children

Design, technology and the commitment to provide children in developing nations with a durable, low-cost, low-power computer, the OLPC’s XO-3 tablet.
Design, technology and the commitment to provide children in developing nations with a durable, low-cost, low-power computer, the OLPC’s XO-3 tablet.

Design, technology and the commitment to provide children in developing nations with a durable, low-cost, low-power computer combine in OLPC’s XO-3 tablet. The brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte with design by Yves Béhar and his firm Fuseproject, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)’s mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression, and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education. By giving children their very own connected XO tablet, OLPC is giving them a window to the outside world, access to vast amounts of information, a way to connect with each other, and a springboard into their future. They also help these countries develop an essential resource: educated, empowered children.

The follow up to OLPC’s highly successful original XO laptop, which reached more than 2.4 million children in 25 countries, the 8-inch tablet builds upon the already established design vocabulary while minimizing complexity in both form and use. Stripped to its most essential elements, the minimal form is defined by the surrounding green rubber border, which provides a safe, tactile grip for a child’s hands. Using similar ruggedizing strategies as the original XO laptop, the tablet includes an elastomer removable cover, which is flipped from screen cover to back cover. Adding to the durability of the model, the cover is in development to also house a solar panel. In the meantime, the tablet is chargeable via electrical outlet or a hand-cranked charger, which offers ten minutes of battery power for each minute of cranking.

To offer educational services even in locations that lack internet connectivity, OLPC preloads the tablet with saved versions of Wikipedia content and offers compatibility with 3rd-party developed offline content applications. Governments, organizations and consumers may choose from a range of battery, screen and software options when purchasing the device.

The powerful message and work of OLPC combined with the Luminaire’s friendship with Yves Béhar and Fuseproject led Luminaire to partner on a charity event, Artist for OLPC. During Design Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach 2007, Luminaire, Design Miami, and Fuseproject were proud to present a charity auction in aid of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). Much in the same way that the XO laptop invites children to explore, experiment and express themselves, the event invited seven prominent contemporary visual artists to do the same.

The XO-3 is an inspirational story of design and technology positively influencing the lives of countless children. Here, it is evident that design can truly be a force for positive social and environmental change.

January 2012