TED 2008: designer Yves Behar

(I'm liveblogging from TED 2008, in Monterey, CA) Presenter: designer Yves Behar, of Fuse Project. He designed the XO laptop, and the Jawbone Bluteooth headset.

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The Jawbone: It has a humanistic technology. It feels your skin, and knows when you're talking and it gets rid of the environmental noise. We wanted to take out the techie and nerdy stuff and make it as beautiful as possible. If it isn't beautiful it doesn't belong on your face. We bring values and these values create a soul for the company we work with.

The XO laptop: (the $100 One Laptop Per Child). Nicholas Negroponte told Behar the design is why kids will want the laptop. He designed it to be iconic, too look like it was for a kid, but not a toy.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Palo Alto at a seminar, and I shot a short video clip of three people, who are a lot smarter than I am, struggling to open an XO laptop: Link


  1. The XO opening could be made from ANNOYNG to “Piece of cake” by embossing a couple of ikea-style icons in the lid.

  2. The problem with the folks opening the XO is not that the problem is hard, but that there are three of them trying to solve it at once. It’s an occupational hazard for people who have a lot invested in smartness: they try to be the one to solve every problem, even in situations when it’s better to sit back and let someone else do it alone.

  3. We had dinner guest, Chris Blizzard then of RedHat, one night last winter. Among his pile of gear ( I think he is his own cloud computer ) was an XO.

    The only newbie to the device who could open it deftly was the 8 year old.

  4. Nice job, Mark! That may be the most subtle variant of the “OLPC-is-impractical” argument I’ve yet to see. It doesn’t seem like a very fair complaint to me, though.

    I’d really hate for these comments to turn into an argument over the XO-1 or OLPC, so I’d just like to end by thanking you for letting us experience TED vicariously.

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