Oh, Yves Béhar . There he is on the covers of Time and Fast Company . There he is speaking at TED and Davos. Those cool objects in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art or the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne/Centre Pompidou ? They’re by Yves Béhar. But despite such vexing ubiquity, it’s impossible to resent the prolific designer. Take his latest roll out at this week’s 2012 Consumer Electronics Show : the XO-3 tablet , designed in conjunction with founder and chairman emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab Nicholas Negroponte on behalf of One Laptop per Child .
As yet, Negroponte’s nonprofit organization has dispersed low-cost (that’s $100) laptops to 2.4 million children in 25 countries. Now, the brightly colored tablet will provide children in developing nations a facility with the current generation of personal computing technology. The design stresses simplicity, with all operations taking place on screen and a small power bay, including the on-off switch, connector jacks, and speakers situated on the front edge. A camera lens is on the back. The entire 8-inch-square tablet is clad in rubber for a tactile grip and is furnished with a protective cover. In addition to keeping spilled milk at bay, the cover may be equipped with an optional solar panel—potentially minimizing the need to find an electrical outlet for on-the-spot charging. With the promise of wireless freedom, there’s no doubt the coffee-house and student-union crowd will find a way to consider themselves children in need.