Nook Media LLC, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc., and One Laptop per Child (OLPC) announced this week that a Nook App for Kids will be pre-installed on OLPC’s XO Tablet. Starting this week, the Nook App for Kids will be available on the XO Tablet, giving kids access to thousands of children’s books, both new and classic ones. The app allows kids to interact with the book they are reading by zooming in and around the graphics. The XO Tablet will also come preloaded with the full Nook for Android app so parents can use the tablet, giving them access to over three million titles, including over a million free titles.
The XO Tablet is described in a statement by Barnes & Noble as the “most flexible OLPC tool to date.” It is multilingual. Presently it is available in English and Spanish, and eventually will sell French and Italian versions in Canada and Europe. It is also described as both child-centric and family friendly. It allows up to three user accounts, and parents can set specific permissions for each user, which gives parents more control over their child’s use of the tablet. The XO Tablet is a 7-inch, Google-Certified tablet running the latest Android Jelly Bean OS. It has almost eight hours of battery life, contains a front and rear facing camera, and comes pre-loaded with over 100 free pre-loaded apps, games, books and other content worth $200. The famous designer Yves Behar and his team at the Fuse Project developed the tablet’s cover and packaging.
Featuring an educational curriculum drawn from experts, the XO Tablet is priced at only $149.99. The XO Tablet debuted on July 16 on Walmart.com and became available in Walmart stores on August 1. Currently, it is available at Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, BrandsMart, and OfficeDepot.com. The proceeds from the XO Tablet sales will be reinvested back into OLPC to continue their work throughout the world.
“By partnering with One Laptop per Child, we are strengthening our commitment to make NOOK content available to new and existing customers across a broad range of platforms and devices,” said Mike Saturnia, Vice President and General Manager of NOOK Sales & Business Development.
“Touchscreens are intuitive for children, making the XO Tablet an optimal platform for educational interaction and creativity and ideal for our US retail debut with Vivitar,” said Rodrigo Arboleda, Chairman and CEO, OLPC.
The aim of the OLPC is to provide children with a “low-cost, low-power, connected laptop,” as the organization states on its website. There is a gap between children with access to the digital world and children without access, both in the developing world and here in the U.S. When a child has a connected laptop, that child has access to a world of education and learning. There are about two children and teachers in Latin America that are part of the OLPC project, with another 500,000 in Africa and the rest of the world that are also a part of the project. The OLPC has given over 95,000 laptops in the U.S.
Photo: XO Tablet