A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Friday, July 22, 2005

Parasitic Power

Nicholas Negroponte of MIT's Media Lab is leading a project that will, from June 2006, build and distribute 100 to 200 million hundred dollar laptops (HDLs) to children in the developing world.

These laptops will have Wi-Fi built-in and will use a mesh network to link through to a connection to the Internet, thus removing the issue of flaky or non-existent Internet connectivity in the developing world. For power he proposes that wind up is an option, but I was most taken by the idea of parasitic power. The action of typing on the keyboard will power the device. If it works that's really neat (unless the kids want to watch DVDs!).

This month's editorial in Technology Review has a good overview. There's also a hard copy floating round the office in London. The executive squirrel (yes, really) article is also worth reading.
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