Annan to present prototype $100 laptop at World Summit on Information Society

November 17, 2005
$100 laptop

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will unveil the first working prototype of the $100 laptop tonight at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia. Annan will be joined by Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and co-founder of the Media Lab at MIT, in presenting the laptop to the gathering.

The $100 laptop, first announced by Negroponte at the World Economic Forum in January 2005, is an ultra-low-cost, full-featured computer designed to dramatically enhance children's primary and secondary education worldwide. It is a joint project of the Media Lab and the nonprofit One Laptop per Child (OLPC) association, which aims to equip the world's schoolchildren and their teachers with a personal, portable, connected computer.

"The $100 laptop is inspiring in many respects," said Annan. "It is an impressive technical achievement, able to do almost everything that larger, more expensive computers can do. It holds the promise of major advances in economic and social development. But perhaps most important is the true meaning of 'one laptop per child.' This is not just a matter of giving a laptop to each child, as if bestowing on them some magical charm. The magic lies within -- within each child, within each scientist-, scholar-, or just plain citizen-in-the-making. This initiative is meant to bring it forth into the light of day."

"Children are the greatest natural resource of any country, and educating these children is at the root of solving our largest and most complex problems," said Negroponte. "Yet the best education may not come from sitting in a traditional classroom, but rather through independent interaction and exploration. The development of a $100 laptop will now make this possible for all kids -- especially those in developing nations. It will redefine how we 'learn learning.'"

OLPC is a Delaware-based, nonprofit organization created by faculty members from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptops that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. These machines will be rugged, Linux-based, and so energy-efficient that hand-cranking alone will generate sufficient power for operation. Mesh networking will give many machines Internet access from one connection. The pricing goal is to start at approximately $100 and then steadily decrease.

The World Summit on the Information Society is the culmination of three years of planning, turning the global spotlight to developing strategies to bridge the digital divide and harness the power of information and communication technologies to spur progress towards the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals. More than forty-five heads of state and delegations from more than 150 nations are among the 16,000 attendees.

Source: MIT

Related Stories

Recommended for you

For faster battery charging, try a quantum battery?

August 3, 2015

(Phys.org)—Physicists have shown that a quantum battery—basically, a quantum system such as a qubit that stores energy in its quantum states—can theoretically be charged at a faster rate than conventional batteries. ...

Sundew discovery on Facebook makes plant science news

August 3, 2015

A new species of sundew has been discovered on Facebook. The find is a carnivorous sundew, Drosera magnifica. The new discovery comes from a single mountaintop in southeastern Brazil—the largest New World sundew.

Magnetism at nanoscale

August 3, 2015

As the demand grows for ever smaller, smarter electronics, so does the demand for understanding materials' behavior at ever smaller scales. Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are building a unique ...

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.