With the year drawing to a close, Director looks at the pocket computers due to launch in 2016 which could truly put the office PC in your pocket…
The smartphone stranglehold shows no sign of abating. Today, Apple makes more money from iPhone sales than the PC industry does from desktop computers and laptops combined; computing devices used for watching video outnumber televisions; while smartphone owners will number more than two billion in 2016 (more than a quarter of the world population).
Despite their ubiquity, smartphones are yet to convince many businesspeople that such a bantam-sized piece of tech is the place to carry out serious work outside of web surfing and communications. But these products – due to be launched next year – are aiming to remedy that by supplying the true PC for your pocket.
In a nutshell: Disruptive Finnish pocket computer heralded as the “first new desktop paradigm for 30 years”.
What it does: With a Scandi-wooden finish giving it the semblance of a drinks coaster, Solu’s interface signifies its radical intent. It has no file management, folders, windows or menu-bars – just a cluster of bubble-like orbs grouped into categories. Harnessing cloud computing, users work on documents at the same time, and there’s no software either – users pay a monthly fixed fee.
In a nutshell: An add-on for Chip, “the world’s first $9 computer”.
What it does: Cut-price ‘titchyputer’ Chip has got the crowdfunding fraternity so feverish with excitement that backers have pledged $2m (£1.3m) . This accessory – which runs open-source office suite LibreOffice – boasts a Lilliputian QWERTY keyboard, 4.3in touchscreen and a battery that lasts five hours.
Price: $9 (for CHIP), $49 for Pocket Chip add-on
The 21 Bitcoin Computer
In a nutshell: Much-ballyhooed device enabling users to buy and sell digital goods on Bitcoin.
What it does: Claiming to be the first computer with hardware and software support for peer-to-peer currency Bitcoin, this gadget promises to “return economic power to the individual”. With pre-configured Bitcoin software such as a custom mining chip and micropayments server, the device can also be used in conjunction with a Mac or PC.