And the hits just keep on coming.
Forbes has made it official: the tablet killed off the netbook. Better late than never.
It was obvious to anyone at the CES Unveiled 2012 event back in January. The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) display was mobbed, as they demonstrated a $100 tablet that replaced their original $100 computer project. Which, by the way, was the genesis of the netbook.
They never quite got their computer down to the target price point, but so many people who saw the prototypes said “I want one” that manufacturers such as ASUS and MSI jumped on the opportunity.
The $100 tablet, though, is looking like a like a winner. An OLPC team brought box loads of them to a remote village in Ethiopia, dropped the boxes in the middle of town, and left.
Five months later, they returned to find that the kids had figured out how to use the tablets, despite the fact they couldn’t read or write and didn’t speak a word of English.
For no good reason, someone involved in the project had disabled the cameras in the tablets. The kids figured out that the camera 1. existed and 2. didn’t work. So they hacked it. Kids who apparently had never seen a computer before figured out how to bust into the Android operating system and kludge a fix.
I’m looking forward to getting an update on the OLPC project at CES in a week or so. If you want to see great ideas at work, you need go no further than their booth.