Laptops for Kids: A Matter of "Defense" for Colombia

01/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TED follows Nicholas Negroponte to Colombia as he delivers laptops inside territory once controlled by guerrillas. His partner? Colombia's Defense Department, who see One Laptop per Child as an investment in the region. (And you too can get involved.)

A pioneer in the field of computer-aided design, Negroponte was perhaps best known for founding and directing MIT's Media Lab, which helped drive the multimedia revolution and now houses more than 500 researchers and staff. An original investor in WIRED (and the magazine's "patron saint"), for five years he penned a column exploring the frontiers of technology -- ideas that he expanded into his 1995 best-selling book Being Digital. An angel investor extraordinaire, he's funded more than 40 startups, and served on the boards of companies such as Motorola and Ambient Devices.

But his latest effort, the One Laptop per Child project, may prove his most ambitious. The organization is manufacturing the XO (the "$100 laptop"), a wireless Internet-enabled, pedal-powered computer costing roughly $100. Negroponte hopes to put millions of these devices in the hands of the children in the developing world by 2010.