MIT to launch $100 laptop prototype in November
The 500-MHz laptop will run a version of Linux
IDG News Service - The MIT Media Laboratory expects to launch a prototype of its $100 laptop in November, according to Nicholas Negroponte, the lab's chairman and co-founder. The facility has been working with industry partners to develop a notebook computer for use by children in primary and secondary education around the world, particularly in developing countries. The laptops should start appearing in volume in late 2006.
"In emerging nations, the issue isn't connectivity," Negroponte said at the Emerging Technologies Conference on MIT's Cambridge, Mass., campus today. "That's not solved, but lots of people are working on it in Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, etc. For education, the roadblock is laptops."
Negroponte and his colleagues believe that equipping children around the world with their own laptops will greatly improve the level of education and help stimulate kids to learn outside of school as well as in the classroom.
The lab expects to unveil a prototype of the $100 laptop at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) on Nov. 17, according to Negroponte. The WSIS is due to be held in Tunis, Tunisia, Nov. 16-18. Negroponte showed slides of the prototype at the MIT event.
The 500-MHz laptop will run a "skinny version" of the Linux operating system. It will have a two-mode screen, so it can be viewed in color or, after pushing a button or activating software, in black and white. The latter display can be viewed in bright sunlight at four times normal resolution, according to Negroponte. He estimates that the display will cost around $35.
The laptop can be powered either with an AC adapter or via a wind-up crank, which is stored in the housing of the laptop, where the hinge is located. The laptops will have a 10 to 1 crank rate, so that a child will crank the handle for one minute to get 10 minutes of power and use. When closed, the hinge forms a handle, and the AC cord can function as a carrying strap, according to Negroponte. The laptops will be ruggedized and probably made of rubber, he said. They will have four USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, be Wi-Fi- and cell phone-enabled and come with 1GB of memory.
Each laptop will act as a node in a mesh peer-to-peer ad hoc network, Negroponte said, meaning that if one laptop is directly accessing the Internet, other machines can share that single online connection when they power on.
The lab will initially target the laptops for use in Brazil, China, Egypt, South Africa and Thailand, according to Negroponte, as well as in Massachusetts,
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts