G1G1 aims to bring computing to children in the developing world

Cambridge, MA (AHN) – Children from developing nations will be the prime beneficiaries of the Give One, Get One scheme launched by the One Laptop per Child group. Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said his group is talking with five nations to distribute 15 million pilot sets to children. Under the plan, a U.S. resident purchases two laptops for $399, he gets to keep one and a child in a third world country will receive the other laptop.

Negroponte, who first broached the G1G1 idea at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at the start of the year, expressed gratitude at a presentation held in MIT’s Emerging Technologies Conference that his proposal was well received.

“The idea is simple. It’s an education project, not a laptop project. If we can make education better – particularly primary and secondary schools – it will be a better world,’ CNN quoted Negroponte.

The laptop’s price tag increased to $188 from its original price of $176, but the long-term aim is to reduce further it to $100. The XO laptop, which will have a waterproof case, can be powered by the sun, a foot pump or operated by a pull string. This feature fits with the lack of electric power in remote areas in third world nations where the laptops are targeted to be delivered. But it can also operate by plugging it in a conventional electrical outlet or by using batteries.

Negroponte said Google, Advanced Micro Devices, News Corp., Red Hat and Bright Star are working with MIT to develop 5 to 15 million test units. CNN, in its 2005 report, said Negroponte’s group was talking with Brazil, China, Thailand, Egypt and South Africa. BBC, however, said the first countries to receive the laptops will be Cambodia, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Haiti.

Walter Bender, One Laptop per Child’s head of software development, said the first 25,000 people who placed an order for the XO laptop are expected to receive their units before the year ends, the BBC said.

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