I got those visors for $99!

The Future Factory: The Internet of Affordable Things

(this is a fictional piece inspired by the $9 computer launched recently on Kickstarter by HAX company Next Thing Co.)

The Banana is For Scale

When they launched their $9 computer “C.H.I.P.” on Kickstarter, many didn’t grasp the significance of the moment. Who really stands back and say “this is a historical moment” as it is happening? Truth be told, the creators themselves tried to minimize the story, making playful jokes with bananas (for scale). But as social media sites used to say “you wouldn’t believe what happened next!”

The Internet of Affordable Things

This second wave started as an art movement: tinkerers would attach computers to various outdoor display screens, abandon little machines here and there. It was reminiscent of the toy maker’s creations in the old Blade Runner. Stray electronic pets with a life of their own.

Software is Eating Hardware

Per-use and subscription revenue models allowed the broad distribution of devices for free, compounding the problem of widespread electronic junk. The saying was “we’ll make it up on data”. Software was eating hardware, but not digesting it well. Devices started to be collected and repurposed, as most of the base was open source. Governments and companies started to control and limit the distribution of free devices.

Living in Public

Governments, once bad actors themselves, became targets. They tried to regulate and control the spread but the economics of autonomous computing were stronger and faster. After information, computers wanted to be free. Eventually, transparency became the norm.

Partner @ SOSV — $700m VC fund for Deep Tech (biology, robotics, etc.) | Digital Naturalist | Keynote Speaker | Angel Investor

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