The One Laptop Per Child project, including its leader Nicholas Negroponte, has weathered quite a few storms lately. There was a flood of criticism coming from the open source world when Negroponte stated that Windows might become the platform of choice, and when former employee and contributor Ivan Krstic stepped in the round, both the project as well as its leader had to face quite a few harsh words. All this hasn’t slowed down the project at all, it seems, as Negroponte just unveiled the plans for version 2.0 of the OLPC. Instant update: There’s a video of the unveiling too.As Forbes reports, Negroponte showed off photos and specifications of what he calls XO-2, the next generation of the XO laptop, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The device will do away with the rubber keyboard, and instead sport two touch-screen displays hinged together in the middle. This way, the laptop can function like the pages of a book, or as a traditional laptop with a touch-screen keyboard.
This laptop comes from a different point of view. Over the past couple of years, we’ve learned that the book experience is key. So we said the next generation should be a book. And since it’s also got a touch-sensitive display, you can use it as a laptop.
The OLPC project is aiming for a selling price of USD 75, which is an ambitious goal if you take into account that the current USD 100 XO laptop actually costs USD 188. In addition, power consumption will be cut in half, from 2 watts to 1 watt. The device is scheduled for a launch in 2010.
Negroponte also took aim at Ivan Krstic during the presentation. “One person idiotically said that ‘Nicholas isn’t interested in learning,’ or something like that,” he fumed, “It really puzzled me, because this is an education project, it’s not a laptop project. I don’t think I can say it more often.”