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

Nov 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

Explore further: Google Maps turns into Pac-Man's chomping grounds

Related Stories

Italian olive tree disease stumps EU

3 hours ago

EU member states are divided on how to stop the spread of a disease affecting olive trees in Italy that could result in around a million being cut down, officials said Friday.

Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks

3 hours ago

Germany-based automation company Festo, focused on technologies for tasks, turns to nature for inspiration, trying to take the cues from how nature performs tasks so efficiently. "Whether it's energy efficiency, ...

Jury decides Silicon Valley firm did not discriminate

3 hours ago

A jury decided Friday that a prestigious venture capital firm did not discriminate or retaliate against a female employee in a case that shined a light on gender imbalance and working conditions for women ...

Intel in talks with Altera on tie-up

3 hours ago

US tech giant Intel is in talks with rival Altera on a tie-up to broaden the chipmaker's product line amid growth in Internet-connected devices, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Recommended for you

Mandela phone app for tourists in S.Africa

11 minutes ago

A phone app tracing the footsteps of Nelson Mandela was launched Wednesday in South Africa to encourage tourists to explore his life story, 25 years after his release from prison.

The hazards of presumptive computing

26 minutes ago

Have you ever texted somebody saying how "ducking annoyed" you are at something? Or asked Siri on your iPhone to call your wife, but somehow managed to be connected to your mother-in-law?

App to test synaesthesia

36 minutes ago

Four in hundred people have a special mix up of their senses, called synaesthesia. A new app from Radboud University contains four playful tests for synaesthesia. Should you happen to have synaesthesia, you ...

The brave new world of big data retention

36 minutes ago

With the Senate passing the Federal Government's data retention bill last week, there has been a great deal of discussion of "metadata", what it is and whether the government ought to have access to it. ...

User comments : 0

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.