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01 August 2012, 09:41

OLPC's next XO generation to get new touchscreen

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Educational initiative OLPC (One Laptop per Child), which attracted headlines in 2005 for its $100 laptop – at the time an incredibly low price – has announced the first details of its next generation of devices. The XO-4 Touch will use touchscreen technology from the Swedish company Neonode.

The interface, which is marketed under the name zForce, doesn't use capacitive or resistive technology, but instead uses infrared light fields which can be interrupted by a finger or any other pointing device. It is currently used in touchscreen ebook readers from companies including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony.

According to Neonode, zForce can be combined with any display or interface, including the Pixel Qi screens previously used in XO devices. The Pixel Qi screen is characterised by its readability even in strong sunlight as it uses incident sunlight for a high-contrast, nearly black and white display. When the display's backlight is on, it turns into a full colour display.

Other than the Neonode partnership, no further details and no release date have been given. OLPC itself merely says that the XO-4 Touch will, in contrast to the XO-3 tablet unveiled at CES, return to the full laptop format, but in a form that can also be used as a tablet.

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