The OLPC has great potential for use in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief situations. The machine's portability, mesh networking capabilities, file sharing potential, robustness and the ability to read the screen in broad daylight could be great advantages in stressed environments where communications are interrupted, organizations are being improvised and electrical power could be intermittent.
Think the stressed environments of post-tsunami, earthquake, or hurricane.
I only have my own OLPC, but would love to test out the mesh networking and ad hoc coordination potential with other XO users. It would be great if we could show mesh connectivity among several OLPCs, and perhaps experiment with disaster relief scenarios.
I'll be in Miami from March 10-13 and I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has an OLPC in the Miami area, particularly those who could bring it to the National Defense Industrial Association logistics conference at the Hyatt Regency Miami (400 SE Second Street) between about 8 and 4 on those dates.
The link between the NDIA conference and disaster relief is a research project called STAR-TIDES. The project is a largely volunteer effort studying information sharing, lightweight logistics and the role of social networks in support of populations in stressed environments, such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, displaced persons, etc. The NDIA conference is our chance to show off OLPC technologies to government agencies who work in disaster recovery.
All STAR-TIDES information is in the public domain with a related wiki for feedback. If you're interested in our work, please leave a note in the comments. If you are a Miami-area XO user and would like to help me show off the XO to disaster relief professionals, please contact Lin Wells asap.
Dr. Linton Wells II was once the DoD Chief Information Officer and a member of the US delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 and 2005. He is now focused on STAR-TIDES.