The XO-3 ultimately will replace the XO-1.75 laptops that are currently shipping, Negroponte said.
OLPC is not dependent on a specific manufacturer for the tablet and will work with "whomsoever wants to roll-out the tablet, for whatsoever purpose, at a very large scale," Negroponte said, adding the objective is to see prices plummet.
As part of a two-year project to study educational development among young children in developing countries, researchers will collect data from XO-3 tablets used by three-to-eight-year-olds in India, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Software on the tablets will record audio and video and adapt a reading platform to the needs of the children without human intervention. The project will study how children interact with the tablet and will aid in the study of tools for self-learning and critical thinking among children. One goal is to provide basic comprehension and reading, which is important in countries where teacher training is inadequate.
"In the reading experiment, where we ask can a child learn to read on his or her own, we imagine many hours of use per day, as many as six or eight. Frankly, the reading experiment may be the most important thing I have ever done....if it works," Negroponte said.
The study will be run out of the MIT Media Lab and be conducted in partnership with Tufts University, Newcastle University, and OLPC.
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