Wednesday, January 03, 2007

OLPC's New Interface: Sugar

Taken from YahooBiz:
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization with the goal of providing laptop computers to all children in developing nations, today announced a breakthrough user interface (UI), called Sugar, for OLPC's innovative XO laptop computer. The Sugar UI, jointly developed with Red Hat and Pentagram, is the first to have been purpose-built as an educational environment for children using laptops. It is designed to support the learning experiences of elementary- and secondary-school children in poor, often rural communities by providing them with opportunities to freely explore, experiment and express themselves.

The Sugar UI promotes collaborative learning through child-to-child and child-to-teacher sharing. The realities that OLPC's XO laptops will be used by children of varying ages, nationalities, and who have little or no prior computer experience, were critical considerations when designing the UI. As a result, OLPC created Sugar to be simple and intuitive without limiting the complexity of ideas that children may explore or express.

"The desktop metaphor familiar to most laptop users today may make sense in business settings, but it's not geared for children collaborating with each other and their teachers," said Walter Bender, OLPC's president of software and content. "With Sugar, we've created something wholly new and suited to the way children understand and describe their world and relationships. Most importantly, Sugar is easy for children to learn to use, yet it's also rich and capable of fostering unbounded discovery, learning, and exploration."

Here's the comparison:

Desktop Neighborhood
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Menu bar Frame
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Hierarchical file system Journal
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Applications Activities
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Files Objects


References:
YahooBiz
BusinessWire
OLPC Wiki

Here's the screenshot (credit goes to Business Wire):