A $9 computer is coming in the near future thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. The small PC called CHIP is nearly 4 times more inexpensive than Raspberry Pi, includes several open-source apps out of the box, and supports various accessories including a Game Boy-like hardware with touchscreen.
A new Kickstarter project is looking to replace Raspberry Pi as the “cheapest PC” in the market. Created by the developer team Next Thing Co., the device is called C.H.I.P., or CHIP, and it is set to become the world’s most inexpensive working computer at only $9 per piece (base unit).
This tiny computer with 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, and 4GB of on-board storage is nearly 4 times cheaper than Raspberry Pi 2 which is currently on sale at $35. CHIP can connect to WiFi, so you can watch YouTube with it, and it supports Bluetooth 4.0 support, which means, you can use wireless Bluetooth mouse and keyboard with it.
Launched this week with $50,000 funding target, CHIP has attracted more than 11,000 backers already, and raised more than half a million US$. Backers will have to wait until December of this year until May of 2016 for their goodies. A $9 pledge will give a single CHIP computer, while the highest tier pledge of $489 will ship ten CHIPs, and ten PocketCHIP.
In case you’re wondering, PocketCHIP (see photo below) is an official accessory that can transform the CHIP computer into a small working resistive touchscreen PC about the size of an original Nintendo Game Boy. This gadget extension includes a 3,000mAh battery, a 4.3-inch colored display, ‘super-clicky’ qwerty keyboard and general purpose input and output ports.
Next Thing Co. is also offering other packages to make backing easier, like the $19 bundle with CHIP PC and a battery, the $19 CHIP + VGA adapter, the $24 CHIP + HDMI adapter, the $93 ‘all of the things’ bundle, and many more.
And because it runs Linux out of the package, and it’s cheap, CHIP could become a platform for startups and small-scale teams and companies that are planning to launch or manufacture their own wearable, or any consumer electronic device that can sync with bigger computers like smartphones and tablet computers. Based on several research reports, these devices have high demand lately.
For new or still learning and exploring coders, CHIP will also include code-centric apps including a software called ‘Scratch’ — an “easy to learn language that teaches the basics of programing by making stories, games, and animations,” according to the project’s page.
In addition to developers and manufacturers, CHIP may also attract non-tech buyers in the future because it will include several popular apps including Chromium browser, some games, a Torrent software, and a media player for video and audio files.
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