Solu is a coaster-sized cloud-based portable computer that fits in your pocket. A team of Finnish engineers behind the device hope Solu will change the way we think of using our digital operating systems.
Sure, we already have our portable computing devices such as iPads and smartphones, but Solu founder Kristoffer Lawson wants us to stop lugging all our heavy laptops and notebooks around and jump into the cloud-based era of “computer-as-a-service.”
“What you’re seeing on the screen, these are not just applications or files. Whenever I zoom in on something I immediately start interacting with it and I can share it,” he explained to TechCrunch in the video above.
Solu can operate as a standalone device, much like a smartphone, or connect to a display and keyboard for more functions.
Content gets automatically backed-up on a multi-gigabyte local cache on Solu’s cloud system that works on the proprietary SoluOS operating system. There’s no in-app purchases or limit to the storage.
Lawson refers to Solu as a “social computer” and says the unique square design is meant to help it stand out from the rest of what’s out there. Unlike plastic and other materials that get scuffed up after a few uses, the wood grain casing helps each device to take on its own charm over time, too. It’s a purposeful addition lending to personalization of each Solu over time, according to Lawson.
The device works on a closed system and with a subscription-based model. Users will need to connect with other Solu users to get it to work. “It’s a bit like Spotify but built for the whole kind of desktop environment,” Lawson said.
The startup pulled in $1.3 million in seed money in August to build its Solu machines, adding to a six-figure round of pre-seed financing.
Solu is currently available on pre-order over at Kickstarter right now and is close to hitting it’s more than athe quarter of a million dollar goal, with 23 days to go.
Solu will retail for less than an iPhone at $449 U.S., but those interested can get it on Kickstarter for $399 right now. Subscription pricing will vary, averaging about $19 U.S. per month.