Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child scheme may not have succeeded in getting its so-called "$100 laptop", the XO, to that much-touted price point, but the scheme has by and large been a success - delivering low-cost notebooks to numerous needy recipients worldwide. OLPC isn't sitting still, though, and yesterday Negroponte unveiled plans for the XO-2, the next generation XO.
Not much specific information about specs was mentioned and, in fact, probably isn't decided yet, but a general overview of the system as well as some mock-ups were released. The XO-2 is planned to use dual touchscreen displays, in a book-esque folding form factor with a sunlight-friendly screen.
By having both screens touch-sensitive a greater degree of customisation is possible, as Negroponte said:
"Younger children will be able to use simple keyboards to get going, and older children will be able to switch between keyboards customized for applications as well as for multiple languages".
Power consumption is also much improved. "While the first generation XO laptop already requires just one-tenth (2-4 watts versus 20-40 watts) of the electrical power necessary to run a standard laptop, the XO-2 will reduce power consumption even further to 1 watt".
Release is planned for 2010 meaning there's plenty of life left in the current XO. That timescale also means the technology OLPC wants to cram into the XO-2 might actually be available without being ridiculously expensive. In the interim a new XO revision will be released early in 2009 with a lower cost, but with identical design to the current model.