Negroponte: $100 laptop trials to kick off
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Reports that trials of the $100 laptop project will kick off in Thailand alone have been quashed by Nicholas Negroponte. Excerpt: Reports that trials of the $100 laptop project will kick off in Thailand alone have been quashed by Nicholas Negroponte.
Negroponte, the chairman of the One Laptop per Child group, said Monday that field trials of its low-cost PC for children in the developing world will start everywhere the laptop is required at roughly the same time.
In an e-mail sent to CNET News.com’s sister site ZDNet UK, Negroponte said reports that trials would initially be limited to Thailand were inaccurate. “Visual models and developer board demos” will be sent to Nigeria in September, and to Thailand in October, for field trials, he said.
“Trials start everywhere at the same time,” insisted Negroponte, adding that some journalists have erred by writing about a single country’s involvement and touting it as the first deployment.
The first working integrated laptops built on an assembly line, which Negroponte described as “B-Machines,” should be produced in November, he added. These devices will be “tested to destruction,” he said.
Earlier this month, reports that Brazil, Nigeria, Argentina and Thailand had signed million-unit contracts for the device were refuted by an OLPC representative. “We have not signed any agreements for orders, but we are in communication with the countries mentioned. OLPC has asked that all interested parties wait to see a working machine before placing their orders,” the representative told ZDNet UK.