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CES: OLPC releases Android laptop

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The One Laptop Per Child initiative has launched a laptop that can boot up into Linux or Android, along with a dedicated app store.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the organization that aims to put connected educational technology into the hands of children worldwide, has announced the release of the new XO-4 Touch touchscreen laptop running Android.

The OLPC move to Android has meant the devices are more relevant to a connected computing environment than the original devices, which ran a proprietary operating system.

The laptops include access to the Dreams Store, a dedicated XO-Learning App Store that will launch with over 500 apps for OLPCs line of mobile learning devices. The announcement was made this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

‚”The new XO-4 Touch is our most evolved laptop yet and provides a unique experience through its dual boot for Linux and Android,‚” said Rodrigo Arboleda, CEO of OLPC. ‚”We’ll begin manufacturing the XO-4 in the next few weeks and the first 50 000 are earmarked for Uruguay, which is the first country to adopt OLPC laptops at full one-to-one saturation.‚”

The XO-4 Touch’s touchscreen interface and Android operating system enable users to take full advantage of the XO-Learning System content that launched with OLPCs line of XO Tablets last year.

The XO-4 Touch announcement continues the momentum of OLPC in the mobile device marketplace following the recently announced expansion of its XO Tablet, designed for OLPC by Yves Behar and the San Francisco-based design studio fuseproject, the latest versions of the affordable XO Tablets making their debut are a new 7-inch XO Tablet and a new 10-inch XO Tablet with Bluetooth keyboard.

OLPC also announced the Dreams Store, a dedicated XO-Learning App store and the first Android App store customized for children. Curated by OLPC, the Dreams Store will provide access to more than 500 educational apps for children of various ages and skill levels. In addition to new apps, OLPC continues to expand the XO-Learning Systems interface and recently added educational content and activities for new ‚”dreams‚” such as XO Banker, XO Entrepreneur, XO Nutritionist and XO DJ.

‚”We’re thrilled by the warm embrace our XO-Learning System has received from parents and educators,‚” said OLPC Executive Vice President, Giulia D’Amico. ‚”In just twelve months, the XO-Learning System – and its new way of learning via our educational ecosystem – has been adopted by 10 countries and is available in five languages. It’s been an amazing first year and we’re looking forward to greater global expansion and user access to our XO-Learning content through the Dreams Store.‚”

At the heart of OLPC’s laptops and tablets is the XO Learning System. This child-centric interface gives children, parents and educators access to state-of-the-art educational content that has been curated and selected for age-appropriateness and learning value by OLPC.

Through OLPC’s unique ‚”Dream‚” Interface, the XO-Learning System encourages children to create their own learning adventure driven by what they want to be today, or when they grow up.

A new Teacher’s Guide will also be available shortly from OLPC.

‚”We wanted the user interface and the tablet design to deliver a unified experience that encourages breakthroughs, while still inspiring wonder the same way the first OLPC laptop did for children around the globe,‚” said designer and longtime OLPC collaborator, Yves Behar, founder and CEO of Fuseproject.

Partners currently creating educational content and activities for the XO-Learning System include Barnes & Noble, Oxford University Press, Discovery Kids Puterbugs, TED, Bankeroo, Educatina, Magma Mobile, and Square Iglu.

About One Laptop per Child

OLPC was launched in 2005 at the MIT Media Lab as a project to provide a modern education to every child around the world through access to laptops and connected devices. The organisation has since distributed over 3 million of its specially designed XO laptops to children in 60 countries, and the XO Tablet extends that experience into a modern tablet form factor.

Visit OLPC at http://www.laptop.org

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