I’ve been a fan of the OLPC project, even buying to raffle off at an event just so I could give one a test drive. Interesting hardware and quite a few countries are using them, but it didn’t quite take off as hoped, and I believe that is due in part to the fact that Intel and others wanted to make a profit in the same areas that were targeted for OLPC. Free market I guess, and maybe it even spurred the current round of netbooks that are selling like crazy (I have one of those too).
Saw this over the holiday break, their next proposed project is the XO-3, a tablet type machine with camera and other goodies for a supposed $75 each. They never got the price point on the original XO below $200 that I know of, so $75 seems ambitious. Of course, just like the first time it may trigger more innovation, and certainly the launch of the iPad will be generating a lot of interest in that form factor.
I watch my children use the computer and there is value even at a young age. My not quite three year old can use a mouse and play the basic games on www.starfall.com, and I just wish there was more and better learning content for kids in that age range. Maybe the OLPC project will succeed, or maybe it will just drive innovation, but I’m taken by the dream of enabling children to learn sooner and faster – it could change the world within a generation.