The first computer was as big as a room and weighed 30 short tons. How times have changed. Now you can buy a credit-card-sized computer for just $9.
C.H.I.P. is a 2.5-inch motherboard created by Next Thing Co. It’s dirt cheap because its design is bare bones. But C.H.I.P. needs all the extras before you’re set to compute.
“Since C.H.I.P. is designed to work with any screen using a built-in composite output and comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, you essentially have a 2-inch desktop computer once you attach a mouse and keyboard wirelessly,” The Washington Post said.
In addition to built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, C.H.I.P comes with a 1-gigahertz processor, 512 megabytes of RAM, and 4 gigabytes of storage.
If you want to spend an extra $40, you can get PocketC.H.I.P., which is essentially a small portable computer. All you need to do is slide C.H.I.P. into PocketC.H.I.P., and you’re off and running with a full QWERTY keyboard, 4.3-inch touchscreen display and an internal battery that lasts up to five hours.
According to USA Today, Next Thing, based in Oakland, California, put the credit-card-sized C.H.I.P. on Kickstarter this month hoping to raise $50,000. The campaign, which ends June 6, has more than 22,000 backers and has raised $1.15 million.
“We’re honestly surprised,” says Dave Rauchwerk, CEO of Next Thing, which he describes as “nine dudes in Oakland making a $9 computer.” Mostly, he says, he was concerned that consumers would not fully understand that CHIP was a versatile product.
“Given how much funding we’re getting, it’s safe to say that maybe today people realize that computers don’t necessarily look like what you think they look like,” Rauchwerk says.
Its Kickstarter page says C.H.I.P. is designed for everyone — children and grandparents, hackers and inventors.
Next Thing will ship the $9 C.H.I.P. to its biggest financial backers this fall. The remaining C.H.I.P.s will ship in May 2016.