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Projects/Virtual Utopia

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OSS SA is a South African based Open Source Software Community. The group is composed of open source users, advocates and developers. We were excited to learn about the prospects as envisaged by OLPC, because we concur that the most effective way for a child to learn is by exploration.

A survey conducted recently amongst our members showed that many would like to contribute their free time towards software development for the XO. In these times of economic instability it may be difficult for people to donate financially towards a worthy cause. However we feel that lending our technical expertise for the betterment of the future generation, in developing countries, is just as beneficial.

Amongst the ideas for software as fielded by our members, we were especially interested in one that was tentatively named Virtual Utopia. Imagine interacting with another XO user via the built in camera, whereby the output of the 2 cameras (or more?) are positioned adjacently and displayed on both XOs. Furthermore what seperates this idea from conventional video chat is the ability to control on-screen objects through motion detection, similar to cellphone camera games. To illustrate an example of this concept via a simple game of handball: users pass an on-screen ball to each other using just their hand movements. This idea will be extended to allow users to create their own virtual objects, and perhaps define how these behave after interaction.

The above is a solitary example of the many projects our members wish to undertake. Having an XO (or 2) will aid us greatly in our efforts. We pledge that these will be in constant use towards software development.