Rest In Peace, Ridiculous Dual-Screen OLPC XO-2S

It has always been an unspoken fear—or assumption, even—that the dual-touchscreen followup to the original OLPC, the XO-2, would never come to pass. But we let the dream live! Until today: the XO-2 is officially scrapped.

Almost worse than the news that we'll never see this folding, hybrid LCD/E ink budget computer in the flesh is how the news was delivered: By Nick Negroponte, in a low-profile interview with Xconomy, as if it everyone already knew:

2.0 (the XO-2) has been replaced by two things: 1) model 1.75, same industrial design but an ARM inside, 2) model 3.0, totally different industrial design, more like a sheet of paper.

Right, so all those mockups, all the talk of focusing on the next generation product, all that hope, dashed, and replaced an incremental upgrade—to a faster ARM processor, from the current model's AMD Geode—and vague promises of a 3.0 product:

3.0 is a single sheet, completely plastic and unbreakable, waterproof, 1/4" thick, full color, reflective and transmissive, no bezel, no holes. 1W. $75, ready in 2012

This from the guy who just vaporized a year and a half of buildup for his last project with a passing comment, so take it with a grain of salt.

Whatever happens next—and mind you, things aren't looking too great for the project as a whole—this is a sad situation. As ambitious as the project was, and as little chance as it ever had to come to pass, it was a rare phenomenon: it was genuinely cool, tied to a reputable organization and conceived with a good cause in mind. And now it's dead. [Xconomy via OLPC News via Liliputing]