[Marketing] OLPC updates XO line, starts second product line for First World

Ron Feigenblatt docdtv at gmail.com
Sun Feb 3 18:52:22 EST 2013

I have untangled the initial misunderstanding I had of OLPC's new
efforts and how Sugar fits in with them. I write to spare others the
same confusion.

tells the story in detail. It writes in part:

"One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA)... announced today that it
will introduce at CES three new products. OLPCA will unveil for the
first time the XO Learning System, an Android compatible software
suite for child-centric learning, which is available by license to
computer manufacturers, governments, NGOs and content providers such
as book publishers. Tablets under such a license will be called the XO
Tablet, the second product announcement. Third, OLPCA will show the
fourth generation of its iconic green and white laptop with both a
keyboard and a multi-touch screen using Neonode technology."

The last announcement is the continuation of the XO laptop line, the
XO-4, and is discussed at http://blog.laptop.org/tag/xo-4/ . I am
delighted to see them continue this form factor, featuring a
non-virtual keyboard which doubles as a rugged, sealing screen
protector, and other aspects which recommend it to many challenging
places in the DEVELOPING world.
Notably, the XO-4 will continue to fully support the FREE legacy Sugar
software technology.

The first two announcements therefore constitute introduction of a
second, parallel, hardware and software line, aimed at the "bottom of
the pyramid" in the DEVELOPED world. Rather than develop free
software, OLPC will "curate" COMMERCIAL software. We read that "The
content in XO Learning has been curated and selected for
age-appropriateness and learning value by OLPCA, in collaboration with
Common Sense Media, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to
helping parents and teachers make informed decisions about media...
Other XO Learning partners include Sesame Street, MyCityWay and Little
Pim among others. OLPCA is currently in negotiations with many other
of the world’s leading
companies to provide unique experiences through XO Learning in time
for the product
introduction in May 2013."

One gets a very good idea about the new XO Learning System and XO
Tablet via the video at
featuring "Giulia D’Amico, Vice President of Business Development at
One Laptop per Child Association."
The video includes a demo using a virtual keyboard, but no talk of any
physical keyboard accessory. The only ruggedization is a rubber
perimeter bumper around the machine. The Tablet features up to three
child accounts with parental controls and auditing, plus alternate use
as a conventional Android tablet for adults. I think this
"switch-hitting" ability should help sales a lot. D’Amico stated the
Tablet embraced the Constructivist school of educational theory, but
did not provide enough evidence to persuade me that this was so.


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