THE DESIGN SOLUTION
High Design Meets Dual Functionality
fuseproject delivered the OLPC XO in 2007. Designed specifically with the child-user in mind, the XO is approximately the size of a textbook and lighter than a lunchbox. The body is made of injection-molded plastic that is drop proof, splash proof, and dust proof. Built with a minimum of toxic materials, the XO is entirely recyclable, and uses a fraction of the power required by ordinary laptops. We also designed the XO icon that gives the laptop its singular character and which became integral to the product, its interface, and the OLPC brand.
Thanks to its flexible design and "transformer" hinge, the XO laptop easily assumes any of several configurations: standard laptop, e-book reading, and gaming modes.
Everything on the laptop serves at least two purposes. The antennas double as covers for the laptop's USB ports and as dual latches to close the clamshell. The handle is also an attachment for a shoulder strap. The surrounding colored bumper provides a protective seal to protect from dust as
well as a tactile ergonomic palm surface.
The screen is both a full color image screen and a high-contrast black and white screen so that it can be read under any light condition - from the pitch black of night to the bright light of day.
With the powerful, built-in Wi-Fi antennas, children are able to connect with each other, their schools and the web. The XO takes advantage of mesh network technology whereby the laptops themselves build a network organically. To do that effectively, the rabbit ear Wi-Fi antennas achieve a radius 3X that of a standard laptop.
The antennas presented a special problem during the design process. While integral to the laptop's connectivity, they were simultaneously cumbersome and fragile. fuseproject developed their dual use as USB covers and the final rabbit ear design gave the laptop a whimsical character that appeals directly to its end-users, children.