MIT unveils their USD 100 Laptop
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have finally unveiled the $100, hand-cranked laptop computer. They aim to place this low cost computing machine into the hands of millions of schoolchildren around the globe. This laptop is about the size of a regular sized notebook and can be setup to have its own wireless networks and operate in areas without a reliable electricity supply.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was pretty impressed with this effort from the premier educational institute of the USA and said in a statement: “These robust, versatile machines will enable children to become more active in their own learning.â€ MIT has plans to provide this machine for free to children in poor countries who cannot afford computers of their own.
They expect the government, charitable organizations, and private players to pay for the costing of these machines. MIT says that the ownership of these machines by the children is essential to get them to respect what they are being provided free of cost. Some of the initial markets being targeted for this laptop are Brazil, Thailand, Egypt, and Nigeria. Each of these countries has pledged to buy at least 1 million units of this device.
The machine is yet to go into mass production and MIT is inviting bids for mass manufacturing of these laptops. The computer operates at 500 MHz and is expected to be powered by an Open Source Operating System. Apple had chipped in offering their Mac OS operating system but MIT rejected the proposal saying that they are interested in something, which can be modified by their own developers.
MIT also has plans to make available these machines in the commercial market albeit at a slightly higher price of around USD 200.