Ninety-nine percent of children in developing countries, say some estimates, leave school without having touched a computer.

Without computer-literate populations in developing countries, much of the world will continue to struggle to compete in a rapidly evolving, global information economy with a growing knowledge gap.

The XO Laptop is about the size of a textbook and lighter than a lunchbox, making it easy for children to carry.

XO is designed to be used in parts of the world where many classes are taught outside, and therefore it is sunlight-readable as well as shock- and moisture-resistant. In order for students to interact, a mobile ad-hoc network allows many machines to gain Internet access from one connection and a maze-network connects all the laptops within reach.

The XO can be hand-powered and comes with at least two of three options: A crank, a pedal, or a pull-cord. Plus, it features enhanced battery management for an extended recharge-cycle lifetime.

The XO – labeled “iconic and for kids without being childish” by the INDEX: Jury – is distributed by the One Laptop Per Child Foundation chaired by Nicholas Negroponte. Its costs are borne by governments with children in need of learning tools.

Struggling with implementation and distribution problems at the start — something common to many designs – the program has placed computers with at least 750,000 kids from Uruguay, Haiti and Mexico to Mongolia, Ghana and the small Polynesian island of Niue. And that number that will double by June, Chairman Nicholas Negroponte says.


  • Title: OLPC XO
  • External Link: OLPC XO - INDEX: Design to Improve Life® website
  • Sustainable Development Goals targeted: Quality Education, Reduced Inequalities
  • INDEX: Award Cycle: 2007
  • INDEX: Award Category: Community
  • Driver(s) of Change: Connection Technologies, Digitalization of Everything, Entrepeneurship, Globalization, Income Inequality, Mega Urbanization
  • Designed By: Rebecca Allen, Christopher Blizzard, V. Michael Bove, Yves Behar, Walter Bender, Michail Bletsas, Mark Foster, Jacques Gagne
  • Country of Design : USA

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