The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is one we have followed for years. The project aims to make learning technology available to every student in the world, no matter how rural their location or poor their village. A major component of the project is designing devices that are incredibly sturdy so to stand up against the daily wear and tear inflicted on them by kids. This year at CES, the latest in this line up, the OLPC XO-4.0, was announced.
The device switches from a laptop to a tablet with a swivel of the screen, and boasts both touchscreen and keyboard interfaces. It features a dual mode screen so kids can use it in the classroom as well as in full sunlight. It comes loaded up with free educational software, called Sugar, offering over 300 learning apps.
No representative was available to show me the device while I was at the booth -- for whatever reason they are keeping the XO-4.0 behind the scenes rather than on display for everyone -- so I didn't have a chance to get hands on with it. However, here is a video demo from CES Unveiled via Notebookitalia:
Two more important announcements from the project at CES include:
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.