Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Give one, get one

One of the most anticipated gadgets of all times, OLPC early designwas the "$ 100 dollar laptop"... now called "One Laptop Per Child". The road to get to the final product took quite some turns. I'm not going into details of those stories, but the final laptop is a good example when all pieces of research and development work as they should, to get even better results than anticipated. ...OK! the price is not as they expected it, but it's still quite low and affordable for the real target users. I mean, the price of $400 for 2 laptops, means each laptop is just $200... and I'm guessing they must have a lower price for bulk orders if you're from a school in a developing country. So, it's not that far off.

OLPCQuite amazing is the fact that it consumes as little as 2 Watts during normal use, far less than the 10 W to 45 W of conventional laptops. The development of the display was another stunning story... but the marketing strategy was certainly genius! To get things started, they offered for a limited time after the first launch, the "give one, get one" programme. The OLPC XO-1 is not available for regular gadget "consumers"... however, the give one, get one initiative provided the necessary funds to allow OLPC to give away thousands of laptops to places like Ethiopia, Mongolia and Rwanda. Now this amazing opportunity to get an already "design classic", a piece of history... a collector's item, and a very nice laptop is back for this holiday season. Give one, and get one at amazon: One Laptop per Child XO Laptop (Give a Laptop, Get a Laptop). Even better: give one, and donate the other one to me.

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Blogger Roolhaas said...

Isn't the urge to possess an object for what it means, rather for its use, what defines emotional design? Are these "design classics" bound to become emotional pieces instead of an utilitarian object?

8:20 AM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

You're right, emotional design has become a tool of getting people to want an object no matter what, and no matter how much.

In this case, the 100 dollar laptop was designed for a "higher" purpose. In my opinion, the guys at MIT did an excellent job to fit all the features needed to bring computer technology for primary education in developing countries. Those features would be very limited compared for example with an EEPc, which is made for main stream consumers bzw. higher education.

I reckon what happens here, is that the OLPC-XO is not available (usually) to consumers. So, when they had this promotion, a lot of people wanted to get their hands on a gadget they don't actually need. That's why I'm thinking it would be nice for collectionists, design museums, etc... I guess this would be "emotional consumism" and not necessarily emotional design.


11:18 PM  

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