In the last two decades, we have witnessed multiple revolutions. And all of these revolutions are based on the humble computer. Due to computers, we now have a massive interconnected network that allows anyone to access the information they want. Due to computers, many new industries have emerged and some older ones have been swept off into the grave. On the other hand, the survivors experienced a complete productivity revolution, with the speed, efficiency, quality and capacity of Industries boosting.
But now, we have reached computing proliferation. Scratch that, we have reached computing proliferation in the developed world. In the developed world, it is hard to fathom a person without some form of a computing device. And remember, smartphones, and even smartwatches constitute the computing device demographic. This means that for developed countries, the gifts of computing have been bestowed.
But in developing countries, where many things are still done in archaic and inefficient ways, computing hasn’t reached full saturation. Just the introduction of computers to a subsection of the population can have positive consequences across the board, for the country and its productivity.
The main factor getting in the way is price. Of course, due to Moore’s Law, it is getting easier to make chips and so prices have come down. But they are not dirt cheap.
The introduction of the Raspberry Pi, a $35 computer, did much to mitigate this problems. But sometimes, you need to get the price point as low as possible, in order to reach more people.
And that’s where Next Thing Co comes in, as it is launching a Kickstarter Campaign for CHIP, an upcoming board computer that can essentially become a fully-functional computer.
It won’t be very powerful, of course, having a 1 Ghz Allwinner Processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of Storage, but at least the processor relies on a more modern ARMv7, which is supported by a large amount of Linux Distros.
It would have a USB Port and Composite Out, which is supported by older TVs . If you prefer HDMI, you would have to shell out just a bit more.
Currently, it is selling for $9 for the base version and $24 for the HDMI Version. If you want to have some fun with it, there’s also the $49 Kit, which gives you a small touchscreen, a battery that lasts 5 hours, a small keyboard and the CHIP, for a nice Gameboy-esque experience.
It has already blown past its goal of $50,000 and is currently at nearly $450,000.
Next Thing has revealed how the CHIP be so cheap. Well, the secret is in sourcing inexpensive parts from China and having a few connections in the manufacturing Industry there, and you will be good to go.
What do you think? Are you ready to buy a computer for a cup of coffee?