The C.H.I.P. Computer Costs As Much As My Smoothie Did This Morning

Kickstarter is crawling with exciting innovations. In the tech realm, Oakland-based company Next Thing Co. seems to be changing the computer game in its entirety.

They’re introducing C.H.I.P., the world’s first $9 mini computer. It’s not much bigger than a potato chip, but it comes equipped with 4 GB of storage and has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.

According to C.H.I.P.’s creators in the video, it “does computer things.” After connecting it to a monitor and keyboard via composite, VGA, or HTMI cables, can be used to create and save documents and files, surf the Web, and play games. It’s similar to the new Raspberry Pi, a $35 motherboard about the size of a credit card, but C.H.I.P. has comparable capabilities and comes in at a fraction of the price.

It’s anchored to a 1GHZ processor with 5 MB of RAM, and is compatible with open source apps like LibreOffice (to draft spreadsheets), Scratch (to create and play games), and a Chromium browser (for using the Internet).

They’ve also introduced Pocket C.H.I.P., a mini console that makes C.H.I.P. portable. It’s reminiscent of an old school GameBoy controller, but the $40 device lets you bring along the bite sized computer chip wherever you go.

With less than a month left in the campaign, they’re nearing a million dollars raised from over 18,000 backers, which soars over the modest $50,000 they’ve asked for. They’ve said they’ll be using the funds to kick off manufacturing for the world’s cheapest mini computer, and they plan to start shipping the products in May of next year.

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