When Intel initially approached us to collaborate on a portable computer for children, they forecasted some 20-30 thousand in annual sales. After the successful launch more than one million were sold within the first year.
When our user experience teams spread out to conduct research, they first had to get back to school and learn from children what today’s learning environment is like. Research into laptop use in real classroom settings brought forth the idea of micro-mobility.
Young students are almost always on the move: working at desks, collaborating in groups, moving between classrooms, and traveling between home and school. They see a computer not as a sensitive device but rather as a commodity. Yet the other stakeholder group – the investing decision makers, or choosers, were concerned about exactly that.
By clustering the insights and grouping behavioral patterns into personas and scenarios, the required solutions for a holistic experience of children and choosers took shape.
With an integrated handle and a drop resistant casing, we hoped to make the computer as portable as a notebook and pencil.
The swiveling monitor of the Convertible Classmate PC transforms it from laptop to tablet, providing even more creative opportunities and inspiration while ergonomic hot keys link hardwired actions with software applications.
Designed to be affordable for schools and governments in developing countries, it also had to be durable and water resistant enough for a variety environments. One of the keys to this design was the cover; not only does it provide a soft handle that can hook to the back of a bike or fold away in a backpack, but it is also easily replaceable.
In addition to market success, the Intel Classmate PC has won numerous design awards — such as the prestigious Red Star Gold, iF China, Appliance Design Magazine's Excellence in Design issue.