A recent Kickstarter campaign raised over 1 million dollars to bring a $15 computer to the market. The computer comes with and Ethernet port, 2 USB ports, and is expandable and upgradeable. It comes with memory from 512MB to 2GB. The most interesting part of this mini-computer is that it uses barely any power (from 75-300 watts).
While here in the U.S. we assume most people can afford computers, but a digital divide still exists. Children in less fortunate households can afford a computer.
More importantly is how much this could transform the growing world. The potential of this simple device could create exponential growth of information and commerce for only 15 dollars.
The prototype being developed through Kickstarter is only a beginning. As components become smaller and cheaper the capabilities of this device could be limitless. Computers don’t have to be large anymore. Cloud computing has removed the need to use large amounts of memory.
When the Model-T Ford came into existence, it was an affordable vehicle that anyone could own. The creation of this vehicle created an industry and fueled the industrial revolution. The Model-T was a product that brought opportunity for families, and made the world a little bit smaller.
This new computer could be the next Model-T. In nations that haven’t created a powerful electrical grid, or are still developing, this mini-computer has the potential to make our world a little bit smaller. Information around the globe can be shared, goods can be sold, and growing minds will be able to expand to a different world. The digital divide will close a little more, and our world will become better for it.