The head of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has offered to help the Indian government with its plans to build a $35 laptop that could be used in the nation's schools.
Nicholas Negroponte said in an open letter that the OLPC will offer advice and expertise, as well as full access to its technology, free of charge.
Linux is the obvious choice for the operating system, Negroponte said, and the computer needs to be rugged enough to survive a 10ft drop. Power consumption is also key, and the OLPC laptop is the most power-efficient in the world.
"More than anything, of all the unsolicited advice I have to offer, the most important and most likely to be overlooked is good industrial design," he wrote.
"Make an inexpensive tablet, not a cheap one. Make it desirable, lovable and fun to own. Take a page from Apple on this, maybe from OLPC too."
Negroponte pointed out that a tablet is essentially a media consumption tool, not a computer for creating, and that this could be crucial in the educational field. However, he wished the project success and urged widespread adoption.
"India is so big that you risk being satisfied with your internal market. Don't. The world needs your device and leadership," he wrote.
"Your tablet is not an 'answer' or 'competitor' to OLPC's XO laptop. It is a member of a family dedicated to creating peace and prosperity through the transformation of education."
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