Reasons to back (and one to avoid) the IndieGoGo-funded Poco mini-computer

Reasons to back (and one to avoid) the IndieGoGo-funded Poco mini-computer

What do you get for the geek that has everything? How about a tiny little computer that does, or at least wants to do, everything? That’s the idea with the Poco, which is being billed by its creators as a supercomputer. In the versatility sense rather than the incredibly overpowered one, we believe. It’s set to be powered by the Raspberry Pi motherboard so it’s a pretty flexible platform. And here’s why you might want one.

It’s a bird… wait, a GoPro-like thing

Poco CamDue to international copyright law (and trademark and a whole bunch of others), we can’t call the Poco a GoPro. But its creators want it to fulfill the same function as one, using the dual 5MP cameras (front and back), a Cree flash and the action mount built into the housing. The 2.8-inch display would work as viewfinder and for playback. Which still wouldn’t be a big deal except that it’s…

It’s a plane… wait, a music player

Poco MusicThe Poco also contains the hardware needed to act as a high-res media player, so it can record and play back the sort of sound files that audiophiles swear sound better even though they haven’t spend the GDP of Morocco on a set of headphones and a soundstage of their very own. The Poco contains a speaker for playback, dual mics for recording and supports microUSB headphones. Not ideal for the serious audiophile but then…

It’s a… forget the Superman gag, it wants to be a bunch of stuff

Let’s see, what else does the Poco hope to replace? It wants to act as a gaming unit and to that end includes dual analogue sticks built into the housing. You’re still restricted to what the Raspberry Pi community is working on though. And you’ll be able to connect to the internet for high res tunes and, we assume, to update Facebook on your impeccable music taste. Plus the Poco has designs on being a: GPS tracking unit, fitness tracker, Skype phone, as well as a few other things that you might not have considered. The Poco’s supposed to be open source, with sensors normally found in smartwatches being part of the component makeup.

It’s actually got a working prototype

This is important to a bunch of people, especially in the wake of the collapse of the Kickstarted Zano mini drone. The product exists, the IndieGoGo fundraiser is to finish off the electronics and to finish off the casing for mass production. Aside from that, they seem to have all their ducks in a row with regards to manufacture. Helps to be part of the Sinclair family, we guess. Yes, that Sinclair family.

But then there’s this…

The price is about the only thing that will stand in your way. In order to get your own Poco computer you’re going to have to shell out $380 in backing cash. That’s R5,400 in South African change and for that price you might possibly build something quite nifty out of a Raspberry Pi yourself. But if you’re lazy, like us, then backing the Poco could be a sound plan. You could also get a smartphone, if you’re feeling extremely lazy. Smartphones do a lot of the above stuff, we’re told.

You don’t have to go the whole hog, you can get preferential access to the Poco’s CAD files, if you have a 3D printer, for $15 (R215) or have the printed casing sent to you for your $75 (R1,070) contribution. But you’ll still need to bring your own Pi. Either way, the fledgling campaign is trying to raise R300,000. So far they’re on just over $200 but they’ve still got almost the whole length of the campaign to run.

Source: IndieGoGo

Stuff South Africa’s online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He’s kind of shy.

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