The nonprofit organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) on July 8 said it is adding a multi-touch screen to its upcoming XO-1.75 laptop and is modifying software to take advantage of the new hardware, PC World reports. The low-cost XO-1.75 with a touch-sensitive 8.9-inch screen will start shipping next year. The laptop will run on an Arm processor and is the successor to the current XO-1.5 laptop, which runs on a Via x86 processor. OLPC also will add a multi-touch screen on the next-generation XO-3 tablet, which is due to ship in 2012. Customers could be interested in buying XO-1.75 laptops as low-power replacements to existing XO-1 machines, which don’t have touch capabilities, said Chris Ball, lead software engineer for OLPC, in an eMail. However, OLPC will also sell less-expensive XO-1.75 machines without touch screens, he said. OLPC wants to use the XO-1.75 laptops as a platform to test and develop appropriate touch interfaces for the next-generation XO-3 tablets, he said. The XO laptops are designed for kids in primary schools, and touch capabilities could reduce the need to use a mouse to move or manipulate images or to scroll through documents. The XO-1.75 will include a physical keyboard, but the XO-3 tablet design will include only an on-screen keyboard…

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Maya Prabhu