How a $9 computer could change the way we think about computing
For $9, you will soon be able to buy an insanely cheap computer the size of a credit card that runs Linux and comes with a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB storage, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. While that’s enough computing power to surf the Web, play video games, check e-mail and use word processing software, the real potential is what DIY innovators, hackers and inventors will do with this cheap computing platform once they integrate it into other projects.
The world’s first $9 computer — known as C.H.I.P. — won’t be available for shipping until early 2016. For now, it’s still only a Kickstarter project with nearly a month to go – but the promise and potential of a crazy cheap computer is so alluring that the Oakland, Calif. company behind the project – Next Thing Co. – has already raised more than $925,000 from more than 18,000 backers in just a few days, easily blowing past the $50,000 they had hoped to raise via Kickstarter.
C.H.I.P. comes from the same innovation oeuvre as the $35 Raspberry Pi— a credit-card size computer that is cheap, portable, highly programmable and highly connectable. So if Raspberry Pi has managed to attract a worldwide user community at a price point of $35, you can just imagine what the lower-cost, more powerful C.H.I.P. might be able to do once it attracts a critical mass of users.
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