These days computing power is being compressed into a single chip more often. Startup tech company “Next Thing” has created a simple, tiny computer that’s about the size of a credit card. Called C.H.I.P, the technology strips down a powerful computer to the bare essentials. The computer’s size, weight and power consumption are kept down to a minimum, which makes for smaller and cheaper computers.
More about C.H.I.P:
The computer comes with a free operating system, but you’ll need a keyboard and a screen for optimal functionality. The design is based on the “system on a chip” methodology, which makes for low-cost computing. Next Thing has managed to leverage economies of scale through a partnership with Chinese manufacturer Allwinner.
Has 4GB of storage, 512MB, a 1Ghz processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a few dozen preloaded applications, standard and micro USB ports and an AV jack that can output video and audio to many TVs.
What can you do with C.H.I.P?
- Create and edit documents
- Surf the web
- Check email
- Edit sound and photos
The South African market can benefit from this computer which would retail for about R110. For about R400 extra, you can get a product called the Pocket CHIP. You can plug the C.H.I.P into this device which has a touchscreen and keyboard.
Next Thing aims to deliver C.H.I.P to backers who have supported the initiative via crowdfunding, by the end of this year or in early 2016.
For the developing world, this technology may be a way of fast-tracking empowerment. Underprivileged children could benefit from the technology, without the hefty costs usually associated with other PCs. This revival of independent exploration and the “maker movement” has seen similar products such as Raspberry Pi and the Arduino make significant strides within the industry. C.H.I.P seems set to tap into further markets by helping those who have previously been limited by resources.