You’ve read today’s reports on how the One Laptop Per Child project – a.k.a. “the $100 laptop” — hasn’t met sales expectations to date. And you’ve heard the news that OLPC founder and chairman Nicholas Negroponte has re-strategized the sales plan for the machine (dubbed the XO), intended for children in emerging markets. (See my colleague Steve Hamm’s in-depth piece and Bruce Nussbaum’s insightful blog post.) OLPC launched a new sales promotion, which kicks off on November 12 and runs through November 26, and is called “Give 1 Get 1,” offering two XOs for $399 — one for a kid in a developing nation, one for a kid anywhere. Although some might view the disappointing initial sales of the XO as an early failure for the ambitious non-profit project, OLPC is chugging forward in some interesting new design directions: the possible creation of new peripherals such as a $10 DVD player and a $100 projector.
As I learned from the wonderfully talented Anne Hong, a Web designer at BusinessWeek.com (and an accomplished graphic artist and inventor), the official OLPC site currently features an intriguing job listing for a Director of Peripherals. The job description suggests that OLPC is planning on developing low-cost accessories for the XO laptop. As the description reads, “Work with companies to develop a host of low cost peripherals for the XO laptop. Examples include the 10$ DVD player, a $100 projector, and a $0.10 oscilloscope adaptor.”
While the projects also seem geared toward emerging-market schools, the peripherals and the laptop itself could be amazing business and presentation tools for entrepreneurs in developing nations. Stay tuned for the next chapter in the OLPC story…
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