Neonode to turn OLPC Pixel Qi Laptops into Tablets

Posted by Charbax – July 27, 2012

Neonode announced today a licencing agreement with the One Laptop Per Child project, turning a new version of the OLPC XO 1.75 Marvell Armada 600 ARM Powered Laptop into a tablet. Keeping the exact same form factor, keeping the exact same readability, keeping the same screen bezel form factor but adding in there the cheap Neonode IR based touch-screen technology. One Laptop Per Child thus far have shipped over 2.5 million Pixel Qi Laptops to Children in about 50 mostly developing countries worldwide. OLPC is still the biggest deployment of Pixel Qi screens worldwide, until someone as Google, Amazon or Apple comes in and gets it mass manufactured for commercial Tablet use. To keep the best possible readability, the least possible reflections in sunlight, using Neonode's IR touch screen technology may be the best idea for the future of Tablets and Smartphones instead of capacitive.

Here's the press release:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – July 26, 2012 – Neonode Inc., (NASDAQ:NEON), the MultiSensing touch technology company, announced today a licensing agreement with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization that designs, manufactures, and distributes laptops to children worldwide, to embed Neonode’s MultiSensing™ touch technology into the next generation of OLPC’s XO-1.75 laptop, called the XO Touch. The innovative OLPC XO Touch 1.75 is a 7.5” combined laptop and tablet that has a Dual-Mode (sunlight-readable) TFT LCD display which rotates 180 degrees and folds flat over the keyboard for tablet/e-book or game mode.

Embedding the Neonode MultiSensing touch solution will allow OLPC to build a completely new type of rugged laptop-tablet that is extremely fast, cost efficient and energy saving, offering 100% visibility in bright sunlight. This is done without compromising the quality of the first-rate user experience, in full color, and with the highest resolution possible, i.e., 300 dpi. The Neonode MultiSensing technology consists of a state-of-the-art interactive touch user interface that includes gestures, multi-touch, and sweeps at an extraordinary scanning speed of 1000 Hz. Thanks to the energy efficient engineering, consuming just 2W, the XO Touch can be powered through alternative power generators like solar cells or even hand cranks. In addition, Neonode’s green engineering feature AlwaysON™, enables full gesture activated wake-up of the XO Touch when it is in sleep or off mode.

OLPC, created by faculty members from the MIT Media Lab, sells the laptops in large quantities to governments and private institutions around the world, that in turn issue them to children or schools on a basis of one laptop per child.

“We are honored to be collaborating with OLPC to produce the XO Touch, a truly pioneering and sustainable device that shows the broad versatility of our technology. This market entry confirms that our MultiSensing technology makes it possible to create a top class product that is both affordable and extremely energy saving and still has a user interface that is radical enough to satisfy the uncompromising demands of knowledge and entertainment thirsty children” says Thomas Eriksson, CEO Neonode. “Our company philosophy is to contribute to a better and happier world, and we have the opportunity to do so by supporting OLPC’s mission”

“OLPC is proud to partner with an organization that shares its appreciation for innovative and transformative technology. Neonode’s expertise in engineering and design will turn the XO Touch, which combines the best features of laptop and tablet, into a next-level innovative machine.” said Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at OLPC

See how awesome Neonode's touch-screen technology looks outdoors in sunlight on a Pixel Qi tablet in this video I filmed in May 2011:

Here's my video filmed with Neonode last February:

  • Kantfredo


  • Maventwo

    IR-diode as touch display technology have ONE big problem and that is it´s sensivity for dust or dirt on the display surface.

    Isn´t OLPC made especially for pupils in schools in poor countries?
    How will dust and dirt on the display be vanished if this poor pupils can´t clean the OLPC
    with water?

  • I haven’t heard dust or dirt being a problem with the Kindle Touch, Nook Touch and Sony Reader Touch, each have sold in quantities of tens of millions using the Neonode touch screen technology and people use those on the beach, on camping etc I haven’t heard about Neonode not being able to deal with that. A Finger doesn’t stay on the screen the same way a piece of dirt would so I guess also they can detect and ignore it.

  • Maventwo

    Swedish company Neonode had so many problems with their mobile phone concept that all people who had signed an order for a Neonode phone gave up and than Neonode as mobile phone maker got bankrupt.

    I don´t believe that people take their Kindle Touch or Nook Touch or Sony Reader to the beach because heat,sand and electronic gadgets don´t fit well.

  • You can’t expect of a tiny Swedish company to mass poduce thei own phones, but they can licence their IR touch screen technology. It’s been very very popular in E-Ink e-readers, selling Neonode’s touch screen technology already in several tens of millions of devices. Everytime I go to the beach, to the swimming pool, boats cruises, those places are filled with people with Kindles, Nooks, Sony Readers, and most of the ones sold in the past year have been using Neonode’s touch screen technology. Pretty much that for anyone who cares about reading has to use Neonode while the brands that only care about bright contrasted high color saturation that looks good indoors and in the store when selling the device go with capacitive. The thing is there is no reason Pixel Qi Neonode screens aren’t even brighter, better contrasted, with even higher color saturation than any current LCD or Super AMOLED capacitive even vs Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPad3. The only question is to check and measure screen responsiveness, multi-touch precision, error correction in case of dust/dirt etc, so far Neonode looks good but their performance on Pixel Qi vs a capacitive needs to be confirmed.

  • CyberGusa

     It depends on how well protected the screen is… look up IP (Ingress Protection) and NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturer Association) Ratings Code standards.

  • Maventwo

    But how will IR touch tech cope dust and dirt on the screen i countries where they have lack of water for cleaning the screens surface in OLPC?
    What we do in highly industrialized countries with no lack of water or other cleaning liquids say nothing about the circumstances in countries where water is lacking.

    Samsung Mobile Display have recently startad manufacturing of Amoled displays up to 10″ on flexible substrate.
    Flexible substrate in Amoleds will in all portable devices outcompeting all types of LCD-displays forthcoming years.
    Flexible Amoleds can´t get cracked as LCD-displays which is made of glass.

  • I’m pretty sure 99% of the tens of millions of Neonode based E Ink e-eader users never put water on their e-readers. If it gets vey dusty or dirty, simply swipe it with your t-shirt, a piece of paper, more then enough. People do exactly the same with their capacitive devices all the time.

    Flexible plastics based LCD arrives just as soon as flexible E Ink and flexible AMOLED. There is no flexible advantage to either. E Ink may be ready now slightly earlier than the others, but it’s still limited, I only have seen one russian unknown brand Wexler release one yet. It’s only a matter of the screen factories switching over an starting to make massive amounts of plastics based screens when they think they are ready. It’s common for companies like Samsung to announce that something is in production, when really it may only be very limited sample quantities being produced for now and that no device will actually ship with the new technology before a year later. And even then, that device may only ship in very limited quantities, like when Samsung announced 7.7″ super AMOLED and only shipped a year later a few thousand tablets with that screen size yet.

  • Maventwo

    But whole LCD-display business worldwide have huge problems with profitability and when Amoled displays need far less processing steps than LCD-dsiplays.Amoled display technology is much more interesting than well established display technology LCD is. 
    Flexible Amoled displays will be interesting forthcoming years especially together with flexible Li-Ion batteries which will make it possible to make superthin Smartphones and tablet pc that can be made on Roll-up display and make the gadgets smaller in it´s form factor.

    And forthcoming years we will see more of flexible displays fixed with superthin and flexible Li-Ion batteries that´s for sure.

  • Samsung looses billions of dollars in their AMOLED sceen production facilities thus far. Samsung’s hugely overpriced high-end Android phones subsidize it that is the only reason Samsung is able to even consider making AMOLED screens. LCD screens are a lot cheaper than Super AMOLED screens, thus losses on LCD are much lower per screen than Super AMOLED. While it may be true AMOLED production techniques make it potentially cheaper eventually, same is true for LCD, the LCD industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, they have tons of engineers working to optimize and reduce the cost and complexity of LCD manufacturing.

  • Maventwo

    But more and more LCD-display manufacturer will phase out their LCD.making forthcoming years and start Amoled display making instead.

    Acer-owned AUO starts making Amoled display now during end of 2012.
    Cmei,Sony.Toshiba and some chinese display maker will start Amoled display manufacturing during 2013.
    So, soon it is not only Samsung and LG which will be larger and larger Amoled makers.

    An Amoled display will also be 30% more energy efficient during video show than a LCD ever can be.
    And more and more content will be video.

    Cisco have predicted that video between portable devices like Smartphones will increase tenfold to 2016.
    2nd and 3rd generation of the mobile standard LTE will also have MIMO like IEEE 802.11n and 802.11ac use.
    With MIMO it will be possible to use software in Basestations for Full duplex can be reached.
    Video between portable devices can with MIMO and Full duplex increase to tenfold between portable devices.
    Where Amoled displays will allways use 30% less battery power than a LCD display.

  • The future of LCD is Pixel Qi and that uses 40x less power than anything AMOLED can do. Both for video and non-backlit use. For now only Samsung makes any significant amounts of AMOLED screens, it may be so that some other makers are considering to start making AMOLED too, but that does in no way mean they stop making LCD. LCD makes up about 99% of the worlds screen production today. The remaining 1% is shared by Samsung’s AMOLED and whatever is left of the Panasonic Plasma screen manufacturing. There just is no way LCD manufacturing is going to stop. New LCD manufacturing allow for stable near bi-stable refresh rates, meaning the screen power consumption of Pixel Qi with 1hz is below 0.1W, it’s absolutely amazing and that is what the future of screens between LCD and AMOLED is going to look like.

  • Maventwo

    Amoled will with flexible displays dominate within 5 years because of that it makes it possible to make total change of how Smartphones,tablet pc and as I hope larger tablet pc that only weigh 10-15gram.

    Samsung Youm Amoled in 4,5″ will weigh 2,1gram.

    When will Pixel Qi displays come on flexible substrate?

  • Flexible LCD and E Ink are also lower weight, also unbreakable, also thinner. Just as with any other screen type, it just requires a massive investment from one of the big LCD makers, it simply requires one of the big smartphone or/and tablet makers to demand plastics be used for a several tens maybe hundreds of millions of screen order at the minimum. LCD factories output upwards 40 million screens per week, so you need to dedicate it for plastics for more than a few days for it to be worthwhile because it takes upwards more than a day to re-adjust things from glass to plastics and back, increasing cost.

  • Maventwo

    Even american chemist company Dupont have developed tech for making larger Amoleds faster to make and cheaper to produce.

    As you can see and read about.

    Amoleds on flexible substrate will within 5-years dominate display business worldwide in most uses of displays.

  • Not if consumers want sub-0.1W ulta low power sunlight readable light-reflectivescreens for 50+ hour battery life, a screen afterall is meant for reading, AMOLED isn’t very good at that. LEDs are meant for advertising displays, not for reading.

  • Maventwo

    But will reading displays bethe most commondisplaytech?

    Samsung aquiredLiquavistain january 2011.
    Liquavistaelectrowetting displaytechis 70per centmore energyefficient thanLCD soit can beLiquavistawhichwill bemost commonforreading.

  • The problem with liquavista is that there is no manufacturing capacity for it. even Samsung isn’t big enough to start something other than LCD to compete with it. Starting alternative things OK, but competing with LCD I don’t think so. Samsung still manufactures perhaps 20x more LCD than AMOLED.

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