A $9 computer created in California, does everything any average family PC is supposed to do including surfing, programming and entertainment. The tiny gadget has raised more than $1.5 million on Kickstarter – 30 times more than its developers asked for.
The computer is called CHIP and it fits in a breast pocket, while
being a full-featured mainline Linux computer without any
reservations. With a 1 GHz processor, 512Mb of RAM and four
gigabytes of solid-state memory drive, it performs most of the
tasks needed for work in office or back at home – at least that’s
what the developers say in a promising Kickstarter bid.
Demanding $US 50,000 at Kickstarter, CHIP group has already raised
$1,661,687 from 31,404 backers (as of 1:00 PM GMT on Saturday).
What one needs to get the device going is any screen, old or new,
not essentially a computer monitor, any keyboard and a mouse.
CHIP has an interface that would look familiar to most computer
users: It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules and is ready for
web-surfing with a pre-installed browser. The MIDI interface can
also get your music collection rocking when connected to powered
It could even become a widely used portable computer with Pocket
CHIP with a 4.3” touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, and 5-hour battery
life. However, that would cost additional $40.
CHIP is being advertised as a “totally open source”
which comes with dozens of most-needed pre-installed apps, tools
and games with “thousands of free applications from the open
source community” to follow.
There are other similar ultra-cheap computers already in
existence, such as Aakash 2 or Raspberry Pi. But CHIP is way lower in price
and claims to trump the competitors in effectiveness and
adaptation for personal needs.
There is little wonder about the enthusiasm of the donors, as
having a computer worth very little and able to perform basic
tasks is very appealing.
“If someone wants the highest end computer in terms of
quality and design – they are going to go for an Apple
product,” Brad Jones, tech reviewer and contributor of
MAKEUSEOF Youtube channel told RT.
“Yet when someone wants something much more cost-effective
and practical to get the job done – his choice would be something
similar to C.H.I.P. and such computers would become very much
popular with people who need a “computer for computing,”
Such giants as Microsoft and Apple are, according to the expert,
soon likely to realize the advantages of this scheme and they
might try to straddle the trend by making software of their own
for such machines.
“If they are running their software on it – it is essentially
a Microsoft computer, even if they do not produce it, because
they are the ones who’re controlling the system and have people
use it,” Jones said, noting that an expensive brand such as
Apple might release their versions of operation systems (OS) for
ultra-chip computers to “corner that market for their
operating system interest.”