Intel rolled out on Friday the next generation of its Classmate netbook computers aimed at the education sector and emerging markets, touting the variety of ways technology is helping the world's poor.
Intel unveiled the third generation of
its Classmate PC netbook, which is made by local computer makers in a
number of countries and runs on Intel's low-power Atom chip. The newest
model features a touch screen and convertible tablet form. According to
research with students and teachers, the 180-degree swivel design,
rotational camera and touch screen encourage flexible classroom
interaction and natural collaboration. Both the convertible and the
clamshell classmate PC designs are based on ethnographic studies and
feedback from pilot programs conducted in both mature and emerging
markets, Intel said.
is designed to be rugged enough to withstand a pounding from
"Technology can be used in tremendous ways to impact people's lives on
the ground," Intel Chairman Craig Barrett said during his keynote
address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
He said technology such as mobile Internet devices and better
connectivity offered by 3G, 4G and WiMax will allow poor nations to
deliver vital education and health services.
As an example of how technology is being used to benefit emerging
nations, he described a Warner Brothers video game that is being used
for HIV awareness in Kenya.
Built on Intel architecture and powered by the Intel Atom processor,
these purpose-built netbooks provide an affordable and functional PC to
support a wide variety of classroom applications and activities.
Designed with students in mind, the classmate PC is small and light
enough for a child to easily carry. Equipped with a water-resistant
keyboard, the classmate PC is also "backpack friendly" ? able to
withstand bumping in a backpack and accidental drops by students. In
tablet mode, the convertible classmate PC screen has a "palm rejection"
feature that is designed to allow the child to write more naturally by
resting their palm on the touch screen. It also includes
education-oriented software and applications from software and content
vendors in the Intel Learning Series.
Intel-powered classmate PCs are part of the Intel Learning Series,
offering a cost-effective, end-to-end solution developed in
collaboration with local manufacturers and brought to students by an
network of local OEM vendors.
"More than 100 software and hardware vendors, content providers,
educational service providers and local OEMs have been working with
Intel to develop a complete infrastructure to support Intel-powered
classmate PCs. Local manufacturers such as CTL, Equus and M&A in the
United States, MDG in Canada, CMS in the United Kingdom, NEC in France,
Olidata in Chile, ASI in Australia and Hanvon in China will also be
offering the convertible classmate PC in their countries. These
offerings complement the existing clamshell design being offered in
countries worldwide," Intal said in a statement.
"Our involvement with software and hardware developers ensures that the
Intel Learning Series is culturally relevant, sustainable, and supports
local economies," said Lila Ibrahim, general manager of the Intel
Emerging Markets Platform Group, which developed the classmate PC
reference design based on ethnographic research and supports the Intel
Learning Series. "Through the Intel Learning Series, we are gathering
the great minds and experiences of the IT industry to create a fun and
rewarding environment for the students to learn and develop the skills
they need in the 21st century."