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Pixel Qi Spins Off from OLPC

Mary Lou Jepsen, the founding CTO of OLPC, recently left the project to help commercialize some of its innovative hardware in a new company she founded, Pixel Qi. One of its goals is to produce a laptop for $50 to $75!

Groklaw runs an interview with Jepsen about her plans.

Jepsen explains her plan: “I’m starting a company called Pixel Qi. Pixel Qi is currently pursuing the $75 laptop, while also aiming to bring sunlight readable, low-cost and low-power screens into mainstream laptops, cellphones and digital cameras. Spinning out from OLPC enables the development of a new machine, beyond the XO, while leveraging a larger market for new technologies, beyond just OLPC: prices for next-generation hardware can be brought down by allowing multiple uses of the key technology advances. Pixel Qi will give OLPC products at cost, while also selling the sub-systems and devices at a profit for commercial use.”

A great article, a fascinating person, and a world-changing idea!

2 Responses to “Pixel Qi Spins Off from OLPC”

  1. andylockran Says:
    January 11th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    The more projects produced from the ‘innovation’ of the OLPC project, rather than the destabilisation (the ClassMate PC) the better the deal for the consumer.

    Even though Jepsen appears to be a hardware type (given that she’s focusing on the screens) – let’s hope this also provides new and innovative software too – all from the open source sector.

    Can you GPLv3 hardware?

  2. Benjamin Horst Says:
    January 11th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Exactly. Making the technology pieces of OLPC more widespread will increase volume, causing costs to decline. On top of that, according to the article, Pixel Qi is licensing (thus, paying) OLPC for use of some of its technologies, which helps sustainably fund OLPC in an ongoing way.

    I have heard of hardware schematics being GPL licensed, (see and some of Sun’s chips), so I would imagine GPLv3 can be applied to hardware too.

    As for the software, only open source makes sense to me in this context. I don’t think the market could sustain proprietary software, if it could even be legally built on top of open source hardware…