Knocking Down the Barriers to the $100 Laptop
Q&A: One Laptop Per Child's chief technology officer, Mary Lou Jepsen, explains how new display developments are bringing the $100 laptop closer to reality.The biggest technology roadblock to building the $100 laptop championed by Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child organization, is close to resolution. That roadblock has been developing a display that is rugged, inexpensive and readable in a wide variety of conditions from low light to bright sunlight. Displays are a traditional barrier to building laptops for use in a variety of conditions. In the past, they tended to use a lot of power and were difficult to read in lowlight and nearly impossible to read in direct sunlight. If you want a really heart-stopping financial moment, call your laptop vendor to find out what it would cost to replace a broken display. Youll most likely find that the display replacement costs more than a new laptop. The $100 laptops should teach vendors a lesson. Click here to read Jim Rapozas column.
Now, the chief technology officer of the One Laptop Per Child program claims to have come up with a display that can be readily mass-produced in standard LCD factories, has a higher resolution than 95 percent of the laptop displays on the market today, runs with about one-seventh of traditional power consumption, costs one-third of the price and can be read in sunlight or room light without backlighting.