Pixel Qi is One Month Old
Feb 2 2008
Pixel Qi is now 1 month old. It started with a bang. Walter Bender announced Mary Lou Jepsen’s departure in OLPC’s community news, the bloggers attacked including SlashDot and Fake Steve Jobs, the press asked, and Pixel Qi started a bit earlier than Mary Lou had planned with lots of attention. Mary Lou was looking forward to a well-deserved vacation after 3 years creating OLPC and delivering the laptop from idea all the way to mass-production – but it was not to be.
We spent a week at CES in Los Vegas looking at what others have been doing and meeting with a who’s who in high technology in an effort to fine-tune the direction of Pixel Qi.
CES Floor summary: 99% of the stuff is unneccessary, expensive stuff basically derivative of Apple. Yes, this is a simplication but in very gross terms – Steve Jobs leads and everyone else follows. However, Apple really just serves a niche market – the rich. There are literally billions of people that want to join the information age. OLPC has shown that we can make products that are just as exciting at the low-end, not stripped down machines but products that people are proud to use and proud to own. They don’t have to be expensive. This area isn’t being well-served by the current consumer electronics industry and where Pixel Qi will aim. But immediately there is need to get the OLPC screens that Mary Lou invented into conventional laptops as soon as possible.
This past week Mary Lou was in New York City speaking at several events:
Design Heroix at the Architecture Center of New York on Jan 30 2008. A series launched by Natalie Jeremijenko that examines what design really is. Is it the styling of the housing of an object or the hard-engineering that goes into it? The word is imperfect – it’s both. The most controversial statement: if we rely on industrial designers to lead us to a green future …. we are lost. The most important single thing about a Prius isn’t its look. The XO looks cool, but is that the most important thing – or – is it that it’s the lowest cost, lowest power, and greenest laptop ever made. It’s tougher than a toughbook and 10% of the price, and can be used inside or outside with it’s sunlight readable screen. A web-cast of this event will be available shortly and will be linked to from here. Mary Lou was the opening speaker of this series and gave a one hour discussion on what it was like to swim upstream to create the XO laptop.
Focus the Future was an event held across the USA on Jan 31 2008. Approximately 1000 universities participated and focused on what can be done to improve the looming environmental disaster. The Breakthrough Institute gave the keynote, discussing both the magnitude of the problem and the true interests of Americans: they care about education, health, terrorism. the economy and taxes. To truly fight the environmental crises we need to reframe the problem and show the impact that cleaner energy can have on the economy. Mary Lou as a respondent to this lecture discussed the vast press and impact of the OLPC program focused on transforming education, but mentioned the lack of interest in another feat that OLPC accomplished: creating the greenest laptop ever made.
Greener Gadgets Mary Lou keynoted this conference on Feb 1 2008 in a lecture entitled “What Green can Be: lessons from One Laptop per Child”. This will be online soon. The talk was well received, but the webcast did better – and got a standing ovation in Germany at a Design Company where 100 employees watched from an auditorium.
We will be reporting more here monthly (or so) going forward. February well be spent fine tuning the business plan and meeting with several potential larger customers.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.