XO-1.75 progress, touchscreen, developers, audience

Carlos Nazareno object404 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 11 22:03:06 EST 2010

>> IMHO the next XO would be irrelevant to the public without it
>> as it would offer no significant change outside the hood from the 1.5.
> No, but an XO-1.75 that uses half the power and therefore provides twice the
> battery life is an XO that is now available to many children who don't have
> the electrons to use XO-1.5 machines, or for whom a 4-hour battery life is
> inadequate but an 8-hour battery life would be quite useful.
> 	- Ed

Well, that is very big :)
The battery life of the Kindle, iPad & other tablets are incredible.

Here's the thing though:

The XO is now competing with the existing and growing slew of Android
Tablets from China that cost $100 and under.

Here's just one for example:

Add to that the growing legion of Android developers - as I said
before, OLPC needs to attract more 3rd party developers as it's still
lacking apps.

IMHO, something tablets cannot compete with that XO can do is the
reconfigurable dual keyboard-touchscreen setup. Touchscreens are
complete gamechangers, but for typing papers (and coding! I hope
underprivileged kids grow up and start playing with code early!) - I
think virtual keyboards are up to par yet.

Although adding touch would significantly add to the cost, it will
help developers get more used to and familiar the multi-touch
paradigm. This way also, devs will be having huge familiarity with it
once the XO-3 rolls out.

Well, OLPC is still setting trends :) RIM/Blackberry is already
starting to do a "contributors' program": at Adobe Max 2010
(http://max.adobe.com), Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis announced that
developers who get their Adobe AIR apps approved for the Blackberry
App store would be eligible for free Blackberry Playbook tablets.

Apps, apps apps! For Children, OLPC is competing with other platforms
that have a growing library of kid-friendly apps.

With regards to 3rd party developers, perhaps a wide press release
making the contributors' program more visible might help? OLPC really,
really needs more evangelism as sad to say, it has lost a lot of
mindshare over the past few years due to FUD, and it really needs to
be more competitive.

Another thing I find sad is people raving on the different screen
technologies like with Kindle & its "incredible sunlight readability"
when Pixel Qi much, much superior.

OLPC needs to win more hearts and minds. I really don't think OLPC can
win the price war anymore, so I think the focus should be building on
and carrying on with its core strength of producing a superior
innovative platform. Another big thing is the hackability,
customizability & ownability that corporate outfits like Apple will
not let you do with their locked-down devices.

Another food for thought:
Whenever I bring the XO-1 with me and friends who have kids see it,
first reaction is:
"I want one for my kid. Where can I get one?"

Sad part is that currently, the answer is "You can't."

I know that the G1G1 program had many problems, but the Philippines is
so near to China & Taiwan that customs + taxes aside, it would be
ridiculously easy logistics-wise to ship units here compared to the
U.S. and Europe. G1G1 would not be feasible here though, because it's
really too expensive for people who can pay here.

Would it be possible to do a small "available to consumers" Buy 1 Get
1 (B1G1) pilot here for a "cost + some margins to help support OLPC"
program? A big help to evangelize OLPC would be to actually get people
to experience it and own it.

Another thing that's completely wrong:
Reverse-gadget envy - that underprivileged kids & public schools can
get something for free that taxpayers pay for when governments shell
out for XO units, and yet tax-paying citizens cannot get their hands
on them and provide them to their own kids. I think it's also sad and
wrong for OLPC to just surrender a big audience demographic to other
netbook makers as some people here in the list have suggested because
the XOs still pack features that are unavailable with other platforms.

These can be remedied, right?

I love OLPC and the platform it provides. I want it to succeed and
keep leading the revolution. I hope I didn't offend anyone, but this
is insight coming from a member of a third world country where poverty
is a big big problem and ordinary citizens struggle to make ends meet.

Congrats again with the progress! Rock on!


carlos nazareno
core team member
phlashers: philippine flash actionscripters
poverty is violence

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