Dream. Learn. Build. This is the motto of the XO Tablet, a family oriented Android tablet designed to help children explore the world through technology and at their own pace. The first tablet of its kind, the XO is the brainchild of the One Laptop Per Child project and comes preloaded with free educational games, apps, e-books, and videos.
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a non-profit project founded in 2005 by faculty members of the MIT Media Lab. By providing every child with a low-power, low-cost, and internet-connected computer, OLPC aims to empower the world's poorest children through education. To date, the project has brought over 2 million computers to children in Afghanistan, Palestine, Armenia, Paraguay, Madagascar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and even the U.S. Now the company is incorporating a new device in its mission, the XO Tablet.
Students in Takaungu, Kenya, and Khairat, India have been working with the XO tablets for some time now. Today the XO goes on the sale for the first time in the United States, available for $150 at Walmart.com. Starting August 1, parents will be able to purchase the device in Walmart stores.
Creating New Ways for Children to Learn
The XO is designed to help children between the ages of three and 12 discover new, educational topics. "It's the first and only tablet specifically created to help kids explore their dreams and spark their imaginations," said Jeff Saka, president of Vivitar. On the tablet's homescreen, kids choose their dream career from the "dream screen," where they can access information, games, and apps on fields such as astronomy, engineering, photography, medicine, and music. The Turtle Art app, for example, allows students to practice programming. The tablet also comes pre-loaded with hundreds of books including classic novels, mythologies, and popular children's books, all hand-picked by One Laptop Per Child and its partners.
The tablet, manufactured by Vivitar, features a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 dpi hi-resolution screen and a 1.64GHz dual-core processor and runs the latest Android Jelly Bean OS. It comes with nearly eight hours of battery life, dual cameras, and supports English and Spanish languages. French and Italian support is coming soon. All XO Tablets are sold with a protective bumper case and a charger.
The XO can be shared by up to three users, each with access to his/her own settings. Parents can also use the tablet to check their children's progress and see which topics their children find most interesting. Parents can also control each child's access to apps, games, the internet, and chat through the tablet's built-in parental controls.
The tablet can also be launched as a fully-fledged Android device, providing access to internet browsers, the Google Play Store, and other Android functionalities.
The one-of-a-kind XO system is set to redefine how technology can be used in children's education. Rodrigo Arboleda, Chairman and CEO of OLPC, said:
“Touchscreens are intuitive for children, making the XO Tablet an optimal platform for educational interaction and creativity and ideal for our US retail debut with Vivitar. With the XO Learning System at the center of this tablet, OLPC along with our content partners, are able to offer curated, state-of-the-art learning technology to kids and their families across the country.”
Explore your dreams. Change the world!
The XO Tablet will do more than help children explore their dreams. XO sales in the US will help OLPC offset the price of donating the devices to children in underdeveloped countries around the world. For more information on the XO, you can watch its promotional video below:
Lauren is the managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.