“With C.H.I.P., all the groundwork is laid, and the only question is what you’ll do next.” – Next Thing.
Recently we Tweeted about a fascinating computer called CHIP. The computer is very similar to the Raspberry Pi; however, this new kid on the block is smaller and cheaper. The Pi was retailing at $35, whereas the CHIP is expected to sell for the remarkable sum of $9 or £6.
This is what the CHIP team had to say about how they can offer their invention at such a low price.
“By using common, available, and volume-produced processor, memory, and WiFi chips, we are able to leverage the scales at which tablet manufacturers operate to get everyone the best price,”
Using the Kickstarter platform, the company behind CHIP, Next Thing are looking to fund their project and they are seeking $50,000. This seems a remarkably minute sum to fund a project of this magnitude. At the time of my writing this blog, it has surpassed that sum and is currently sitting on the princely total of $976,989! And we still have a further 25 days to go. So it would appear that many, many people also believe in a small and powerful computer.
The success, of course, will mean that the high volume of the parts required will be cheaper to buy, thus keeping down costs for the consumer.
The CHIP packs a powerful 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, 802.11B/G/N WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The gadget can run a version of the Linux operating system and connects to monitors and displays via a basic composite connector. Since it already has a fully integrated battery power circuit, all you need to do is attach a 2.7-volt lithium-ion polymer battery, and you’re good to build CHIP into portable, hacked-together projects. CHIP also features an open source operating system already baked in, which can handle the Chromium web browser or LibreOffice for productivity work.
A word of caution, however, the CHIP’s low price tag only covers the basic board. So the price will rise, especially when you add on shipping costs
The campaign is also producing “Pocket CHIP” which makes the whole thing portable. This is expected to retail at around the $49 mark. The external case gives CHIP a 4.3″ touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, and 5-hour battery.
Kickstarter backers can expect their CHIP in December of this year, with the full run expected to ship in May 2016.
Many projects nestling in the realms of Kickstarter are not always as promising as the CHIP, and I look forward to hearing more of its progress. This is not the first time Next Thing have used the platform to fund a project. Their first was a digital camera called Otto, which bizarrely, was powered by the Raspberry Pi.
I delight in innovations such as this. As technology continues to get smaller and cheaper, then future geniuses will be able to create their dream projects.