CES: OLPC Project Shows Battery Recharger
| by Priyanka Pradhan |
The much awaited One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, is being showcased at the CES 2007 in Las Vegas, along with its unique, yo-yo like battery recharger. The project, driven by MIT professor, Negroponte, promises to deliver $100 linux-based computers, to offer an alternate, tech savvy option for learning. Negroponte also announced that project is looking for a way to sell the notebook computers to individuals.
The yo-yo like battery recharger for the low cost computers has been designed by Squid Labs LLC, and costs about $10 for the materials alone. Users are required to attach the device to a fixed object such as a door or tree, then yank a pull-string to recharge the battery, similar to a pulley system. According to Michail Bletsas, chief connectivity officer at the One Laptop Per Child Project, the device will be given out to all students who receive a $100 laptop, and will also be sold to users in developed nations as a mobile phone recharger. He said the device can recharge a mobile phone in about five minutes.
As reported by ITworld.com, the laptop's designers have developed a special chip that allows the processor to power down while the screen remains switched on. This so-called e-book mode consumes only 1 Watt of power, or slightly less than 2 Watts with the backlight switch on, which allows children to read digital documents with a minimum strain on the notebook's battery. Even when running at full force, the system will consume between 11 and 12 Watts of power, because it lacks any moving parts such as hard drive or DVD player, while Mainstream notebooks typically consume up to 90 Watts. The OLPC laptops are now run on rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries, chosen for their lower cost as well as recyclability.
The project hopes the notebooks will appeal to consumers because of their low power design and dual mode display that allows the computer to operate in both a backlight mode and a reflective screen mode for using in direct sunlight.
Reports say that OLPC project has managed to bring down the cost of manufacturing the laptops, from USD 150 to USD 130, and hopes to reach the target price of US$100 in 2008.
The governments of Nigeria, China, Brazil, Egypt and Thailand have placed an order 1 million laptops, for their government- run schools. India was also part of the OLPC project, initially, until Indian Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee reversed the decision to back the project.
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