We have computers of all types, ranging from desktops, to laptops, to smartphones, to tablets, and more, but Finnish startup Solu wants to add to the group, recently unveiling what it bills as the world’s smallest general-purpose computer.
As indicated, the Solu is a small (102mm by 102mm by 13mm), touchscreen-based device that is made partly of wood and capable of acting both as a handheld device and being plugged in to function as a desktop. It has its own operating system, SoluOS, which relies on the cloud and allows users to create spaces, which requires them to zoom in and out of projects and files. The startup says that they are “working with a number of development houses to bring their collaborative tools to Solu”, but that they also support legacy Android apps.
The creators of the Solu have put a lot of time and energy into creating this new type of computer, but they are taking a bit of a risk, as CEO Kristoffer Lawson tells me that the project will largely die (from a B2C perspective) if they do not hit their goal of 200,000 Euro on Kickstarter. They have already raised around $2 million from a group of investors that includes KSV Finland, Vladimir Ashurkov, Sasha Markvo, Taneli Tikka, and the Buildit accelerator and have applications for patents pending, but crowdfunding campaigns tend to be a strong indicator of whether or not there is actually interest in purchasing such as a product. The project is not particularly close to reaching its goal, with just under 168,000 Euro from 472 backers, but there is still another 22 days until the deadline.
The cheapest Solu currently available will set you back 349 Euro and is expected to be delivered in May. In addition to the price of the device, Solu has opted for what they bill as the world’s first “computer-as-a-service”, charging a monthly fee, which they intend to partially share with developers, for the privilege of accessing all the storage and apps that you need. The team behind Solu says that they put in most of the work towards creating the device before turning towards their crowdfunding campaign. And yes, they say that they have working prototypes.