Today it was revealed that the non-profit organization One Education (an Australian subsidiary/partner of the One Laptop Per Child Foundation), is preparing to release its redesign of the charity’s original XO model sometime in the next few weeks.
You may remember OLPC from the many accusations of scam-artistry that popped up over the years, but while the company itself was awash with allegations of mismanagement of funds, cluttered mission statements and poor execution of core goals, the organization’s goal of putting laptops in the hands of the needy remains important.
The original XO carried many of the features you would expect from a laptop that’s supposed to be kid-friendly, durable, and easily accessible. The chassis featured big, rubberized protectors that housed a low-power screen, giant WiFi receivers that could pick up a signal from over half a mile away, and components which could support its customized Linux operating system built with education as a focus.
Now, the new XO Infinity is looking to improve on everything the original did so well, while also incorporating a new modular design that should add a range of customization previously unheard of. According to leaked notes dug up by the blog Ink, Bits and Pixels, One Education is planning to create a dockable 2-in-1 usable as a laptop or tablet, which also features modular components that can be hot-swapped in or out depending on a particular classroom’s needs and individual budgets.
This means Infinity could potentially be used to foster interest in the actual building blocks of how computers work, while also teaching the basic tenants of engineering from both a software and hardware perspective.
Though the specifics of the specifications on the machine are still a mystery, a member of the One Education team Paul Cotton has confirmed the device is on its way, and should be ready for distribution sooner rather than later.
“We’ve been working hard at the XO Infinity for the last year or so, and things are finally getting to the point where we can show people,” Cotton stated. “We’re due to make the official announcement sometime in the next week or two, at which point we’ll be able to talk about it all day, every day. Up until then though, we need to keep mum or our media partners may be upset with us.”