A company based out of Finland has invented a computer that might just challenge Apple and Windows for their market share.
It’s called the Solu, a PC that fits in your pocket measuring just 10cm by 10cm that can easily connect to a bigger screen and traditional keyboard, lets you browse through apps and windows using just a swipe here or there, and automatically backs up all of your data to cloud-based storage.
If you’re thinking it’s a concept that couldn’t possibly gain any traction, think again. The company, headed by founder Kristoffer Lawson, has surpassed its original goal to raise €200,000 via itsKicksarter campaign, reaching €219,543 (about CAD$311,000) so far.
Take a glance at the promotional video for the device and see for yourself just how it works:
The functionality of it appears to be on par with both the power and versatility offered by modern tablets and computers. There is however one particular challenge with the device being so small and powerful: the device itself allows for just 32 gigabytes of storage space.
Enter the convenience of a cloud-based storage system. Solu users would get two terabytes of cloud space for their device (for a fee of €19 a month, or CAD$27, which also conveniently turns the Solu into a money-making machine for the company). That said, even with the challenges of size and storage accounted for, there are clearly many others facing the company if Lawson and his team are to have the Solu truly steal market share from the industry’s top guns.
Apps on the Solu run on a Linux-based system that would make it compatible with mobile devices operating on the Android system, but programmers will need good reasons to focus on it, meaning the company needs to see a large number of early adopters. Another challenge the company faces is overcoming the love people already have for their smartphones, and all that they do. Are people really going to want another device to carry around in their pocket given that their phone would offer many of the same benefits of Solu?
Solu’s biggest technological advantage, however, is the fact that users can collaborate together on projects using the same applications on separate Solus. Much like cloud-based document services like Google Doc or Dropbox, except users can work in unison on all of the apps on the operating system rather than being tied to one specific app.
Regardless of both the benefits and challenges the Solu presents, Lawson and company know that the device is still a long shot to truly penetrate the highly-competitive technology market. There have been many more crowd-funded mobile devices that people have forgotten about than have actually managed to change the landscape of the industry. Just ask the inventors of the Ubuntu Edge, another mobile device that received major backing from enthusiasts to the tune of almost USD$13 million in 2013 yet never made it into the hands of consumers on a mass scale.
Only time will tell for certain if the 609 backers of the Solu will translate into a huge customer base willing to fork out €449 (CAD$640 ) for a computer the size of a coaster.