A laptop for every child. This is a goal that is becoming closer and closer to reality. MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte (I don't know how to pronounce it either) has been developing a laptop that will cost around $100. By 2010 he wants to have these laptops circulating to every child in the world.
The best part of it? It is powered by a handcrank. According to WIRED news one minute of hand cranking will give this 500MHz notebook 40 minutes of power. That's innovation.
The biggest breakthrough that made this project possible was the developement of a low cost LCD screen. All things considered LCD screens end up being the biggest chunk of the cost in a laptop computer. This screen was completed by CTO Mary Lou Jepsen.
While this may not seem like it would affect us at all it really does. Technological innovation in some of the worlds countries is nowhere near what it should be. This gives those countries a much better chance of catching up. The governments of Thailand and Brazil are ready to put down one million dollars each already for these computers.
These computers are not going to teach their new users to use them themselves however. This opens up an interesting opportunities for jobs possibly. The other thing that I think would work very well would be to have college students go over there to help. This would be a great experience for college aged kids to interact with other nationalities and cultures while providing a service as well.
Is this a dream or reality though? Well, WIRED.com already says that Negroponte is looking for manufacturers. "I even get checks in the mail from people who are ordering them, " he says.
Come 2010 look out world. Negroponte says, "It's every child in the world whether they want one or not. They may not know they want one."
Song: Nick Lachey - What's Left of Me