The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop – a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world’s children.
Here are the basic specs…
The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, full-color, full-screen laptop that will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data. These rugged laptops will be WiFi- and cell phone-enabled, and have USB ports galore. Its current specifications are: 500MHz, 1GB, 1 Megapixel.
Organizationally, MIT will work with a small number of companies of complementary skills to develop a fully working and manufactured laptop (50,000 to 100,000 units) in fewer than 12 months, with an eye on building about 100 million to 200 million units by the following year. Five initial companies who have committed to this project are AMD, Brightstar, Google, News Corporation, and Red Hat.
This looks to be a very noble effort. I am guessing there was not a whole lot of arm-twisting need to get the above companies on board. Getting your product in front of a couple of hundred million future customers is definitely worth something.