This project that offers laptops, the XO, to the underdeveloped countries of the world is truly astounding on both a humanitarian and a technological level. A surprisingly well-written and insightful review by a 12-year old appeared in August of this year.
How It CONNECTS
This box connects wirelessly to the ‘net and other XO users who create a local network, and it includes some groundbreaking collaboration/sharing tools as well. The Sugar open-source application users can leverage the built-in camera and mike to jump into video or audio chats.
How It DISPLAYS
This is a low-cost, low power consumption device for obvious reasons. It XO has display that is readable in outdoor conditions ( it uses diagonal vs. horizontal color stripes and uses black-and-white and color pixels ). It offers black-and-white high resolution in sunlight and color indoors.
How it POWERS
While in idle mode, the XO uses 1 watt of power (compare to your typical 14 watts from average laptop). It is built on a system of alternative power sources including small solar panels, string-pull generators, small windmills, etc. (brilliant!). Battery innovations include the ability to use different battery technologies: nickel or lithium and extensive heat testing done in lieu of recent battery incidents.
How it SURVIVES
The XO was not just designed for kids, but for kid envirinments which can be brutal on fragile computing elements. The XO comes with a rubber membrane keyboard (good for wet or dirty hands), and it has an easily-swappable system to accomodate different languages. It has amazing safeguards against theft and are shipped in non-functioning state ready to activate at destination point via USB key.
This project keeps evolving and no doubt the big corporations will take note and begin incorporating some of this innovation into their product lines.