CHIP (Click Here to View on Kickstarter) is a Kickstarter project aimed at bringing a real world, $9 computer to the masses – before we get started, I should point out that the campaign has 18 days left and has already reached $1,446,982 of the $50,000 goal…. Like it or not, this thing is happening! And honestly, why wouldn’t you like that??
What does CHIP have to offer? How about a 1Ghz processor with 512mb RAM and a 4GB internal storage? On top of that, CHIP boasts on-board WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, so accessing the internet and external control devices is a breeze.
Imagine a $9 computer you can plug into any monitor or display device, connect a Bluetooth controller and begin playing any number of MAME style arcade or platform games – the CHIP Kickstarter projects offers exactly that, and so much more!
While CHIP is designed as an Open-Source computing platform for project developers and enthusiasts, it comes pre-installed with a general LINUX platform which makes functionality nothing short of simple. Whatever you would do with your standard PC or laptop, you can do with CHIP! CHIP is an entire computer in an extremely small form-factor, allowing for a wide array of external inputs (the built-in GPIO ports make connecting to sensors and powered devices fairly accessible to the advanced user) – it is designed to be as small and affordable as possible, and it certainly hit the mark!
In addition to its inherent value as a replacement for a full-sized computer in many scenarios, you can also take CHIP on the go! The hardware supports the use of an external Lithium Ion battery back, which can be easily recharged through the included circuitry. In addition to this, you can purchase the Pocket CHIP addon device for just a few dollars more, which allows for a direct plug-in with CHIP and includes a 4.3″ resistive touch screen, QWERTY keyboard and built-in battery pack! Of course, the Pocket CHIP addon also includes universal GPIO connectors and is completely open source (allowing for some incredible development potential).
This is clearly a project worthy of attention and I would encourage any and all to contribute in whatever way you are able. Like I said in the introduction, this project has already been funded beyond the originators’ possible expectations, so whether you decide to support them or not has little bearing on whether or not the project actually moves forward. At this point, it is simply a matter of “do you want one?” I already pre-ordered my personal CHIP computer system, and I look forward to comparing it’s performance to that of my Raspberry Pi system (which retails for about $35).
I strongly encourage you to support this project, since you get a cool little personal computer out of the whole deal for a tiny fraction of the cost of a full sized unit!