Tech Weekly: Chips Ahoy

Share this post

In the late 1950s, Jack Kilby — an engineer at Texas Instruments who would later dream up the handheld calculator — invented the integrated circuit, or microchip. Since then, true to Moore's Law, we've crammed components onto these chips at an exponential rate, making them smaller and smaller in the process. From an open-source game system the size of a credit card, to a minimalist cell phone the size of a credit card, to an entire computer smaller than a credit card, this week's projects are incredible examples of just how far we've come.

And as always, there are way more modern marvels over in our Technology category.

CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Twenty years ago the specs on a computer you were buying might have looked like this: 100MHz processor, 16MB RAM, and a 1GB hard drive (at least according to this 1995 holiday shopper's guide). Now, a team of very smart people have put a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, and 4GB storage onto a computer that fits in your palm. It's called C.H.I.P. Running specs similar to many basic tablets, C.H.I.P is pretty powerful, and it works just like any other computer. Just plug it in and you can get started on the included open-source software. And while the form factor is tiny, the components have only shrunk marginally compared to the price — C.H.I.P. will run you just a cool nine bucks.

Arduboy - Card Sized Gaming

Maybe you'd prefer a pocket computer with an integrated speaker and OLED display. If that's the case, the tiny and handsome Arduboy is for you. What began as a tech demo on YouTube has been given a total makeover for the end user. Arduboy has a built-in 8+ hour lithium polymer battery, six tactile buttons, and a super durable enclosure. Plus, it will fit inside your wallet. The device runs on Arduino software, and it's open source so you're free to develop and share your own 8-bit games. And even if you don't feel like making your own games using the provided online tutorials, you'll have free access to the entire Arduboy game library.

Makey Makey GO: Invent Everywhere, Invent Now!

Back when Makey Makey hit the web in 2012, we were blown away by the device's potential. Still, we couldn't have imagined the wild and creative uses people would find for the device—including turning sushi into a musical instrument. Now the team is back with Makey Makey GO, a streamlined and portable version of their popular anything-machine. Makey Makey GO essentially turns the world into a giant construction kit, allowing you to use anything you can attach an alligator clip to as computer input. Maybe you want to use a donut for your spacebar, or you need a selfie machine that triggers when you high five. Then again, you could just play it safe and stick to the good old fashioned banana piano. With Make Makey GO, your weird ideas are just the beginning.

MyoWare™ | Harness the power of your muscle signals!

Every time you flex a muscle, those muscle cells generate electrical potential. It's possible to measure that electrical signal using electromyography, or EMG. MyoWare is a device that brings EMG to the home tinkerer. Just stick the included adhesive electrodes to your arm, snap MyoWare onto the electrodes, and flex. The MyoWare will analyze the electrical activity, and output an analog signal in accordance with how hard your muscle is being flexed. What do you do with that signal? Well you could use it to light up an LED array, eject some plastic claws, or even control components on a low-cost bionic arm.

The Light Phone

Before "Hello" was adopted as the standard greeting when answering a telephone, Alexander Graham Bell had suggested we use "Ahoy." That was a terrible idea, but we have to give the guy credit for pioneering the minimalist phone. Now, the people behind The Light Phone have taken Bell's idea and updated it for modern times. The Light Phone is an ultra-slim, credit-card-sized device that does nothing but make and receive calls. Actually, there are a few bells and whistles such as call filtering and speed dial, but that's it. Finally, a phone that helps you disconnect.

LightSail: A Revolutionary Solar Sailing Spacecraft

In 1976, Carl Sagan appeared on The Tonight Show to discuss the idea of solar sailing with Johnny Carson. The gist was this: Particles from the sun could be used as propulsion, pushing a spacecraft along just like a sailboat in the wind. Now, the organization that Sagan founded, the Planetary Society, is realizing his dream with Bill Nye at the helm. LightSail is a tiny CubeSat, and in 2016 it will deploy its solar sails and soar around Earth. The mission? To prove just how far the sun can take us, if we're bright enough to let it.

Comments
    1. Dennis Williamson on

      This person has canceled their pledge.

    2. Michael C. Stewart on

      This person has canceled their pledge.

    3. Missing avatar

      Don on

      This person has canceled their pledge.

    4. Missing avatar

      Namaku Keren on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    5. Missing avatar

      teguhbejo on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    6. Missing avatar

      teguhbejo on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    7. Missing avatar

      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

Line icon alert icon Artboard Copy 8 arrow-down icon arrow-down arrow-left icon arrow-left arrow-point-left icon Fill 1 Copy 5 arrow-point-right icon Fill 1 arrow-right icon arrow-right arrow-up-right icon icon--arrow-up-right copy bar-chart icon Artboard Copy 6 bell icon Combined Shape Copy 5 book icon Artboard Copy 3 bookmark icon Fill 1 brand-assets icon Artboard Copy 13 cart icon Artboard Copy 4 chat icon chat check icon Fill 1 Copy 6 circle-back icon Fill 1 Copy 13 circle-forward icon Fill 1 Copy 16 circle-k icon circle-k circle-left icon circle-left circle-right icon circle-right clipboard icon Artboard Copy 12 clock icon Combined Shape close icon close closed-caption icon Fill 1 compass icon Combined Shape Copy 2 conversion icon conversion delta-down icon Fill 1 delta-left icon delta-right icon Fill 1 delta-up icon Fill 1 duplicate icon duplicate embed icon Combined Shape Copy 6 eye icon Combined Shape Copy 12 facebook-contained icon Facebook Contained facebook icon Facebook logo flag icon Fill 1 Copy 3 gear icon Fill 1 Copy 14 global-africa icon Fill 1 Copy 9 global-america icon Fill 1 Copy 10 global-asia icon Fill 1 Copy 17 graph-bar icon Combined Shape Copy 9 graph-line icon Combined Shape Copy 16 heart icon Fill 1 Copy 8 help icon human icon icon--human icon--activity-feed.kds icon icon--add-heading.kds icon icon--advanced-analytics.kds icon icon--alarm icon icon--alarm icon--alert icon icon--alert icon--alt-text.kds icon icon--arrow-down.kds icon icon--arrow-down icon icon--arrow-down icon--arrow-left-2 icon icon--arrow-left.kds icon icon--arrow-left icon icon--arrow-left icon--arrow-right.kds icon icon--arrow-right icon icon--arrow-right icon--arrow-up-right icon icon--arrow-up-right icon--arrow-up.kds icon icon--arrow-up icon icon--arrow-up icon--backer-badge icon icon--backer-badge icon--bar-graph.kds icon icon--bell.kds icon icon--bell icon icon--bell icon--bold.kds icon icon--bolt.kds icon icon--bolt icon icon--bolt icon--bookmark-filled.kds icon icon--bookmark-outline icon icon--bookmark-outline icon--bookmark.kds icon icon--bookmark icon icon--bookmark icon--bulleted-list.kds icon icon--calculator icon icon--calculator icon--calendar-check icon icon--calendar-check icon--calendar.kds icon icon--calendar.sm.kds icon icon--calendar icon icon--calendar icon--campaign-outline icon icon--campaign-outline icon--caption.kds icon icon--captions.kds icon icon--cart.kds icon icon--category.kds icon icon--category.sm.kds icon icon--chat.kds icon icon--check.kds icon icon--check.sm.kds icon icon--check icon icon--check icon--chevron-down.kds icon icon--chevron-down.sm.kds icon icon--chevron-down icon icon--chevron-down icon--chevron-left.kds icon icon--chevron-left.sm.kds icon icon--chevron-left icon icon--chevron-left icon--chevron-right.kds icon icon--chevron-right.sm.kds icon icon--chevron-right icon icon--chevron-right icon--chevron-up.kds icon icon--chevron-up.sm.kds icon icon--chevron-up icon icon--chevron-up icon--circle-around.kds icon icon--circle-around icon icon--circle-around icon--circle-back icon icon--circle-back icon--circle-backward.kds icon icon--circle-check icon icon--circle-empty icon icon--circle-forward.kds icon icon--circle-forward icon icon--circle-forward icon--circle-loader icon Page 1 icon--circle.kds icon icon--circle icon icon--clipboard icon icon--clipboard icon--clock.kds icon icon--clock.sm.kds icon icon--clock icon icon--clock icon--close.kds icon icon--close.sm.kds icon icon--closed-caption icon icon--closed-caption icon--code icon icon--code icon--collapse.kds icon icon--collapse icon icon--collapse icon--commissions icon icon--commissions icon--compass icon icon--compass icon--confirmation icon icon--confirmation icon--conversion.kds icon icon--conversion icon icon-conversion icon--copy.kds icon icon--cpu icon icon--credit-card.kds icon icon--credit-card icon icon--cross icon icon--cross icon--curve-right icon icon--curve-right icon--date-and-time.kds icon icon--date-and-time.sm.kds icon icon--delta-down icon icon--delta-down icon--delta-left icon icon--delta-left icon--delta-right icon icon--delta-right icon--delta-up icon icon--delta-up icon--download.kds icon icon--download icon icon--download icon--drag.kds icon icon--edit.kds icon icon--ellipsis.kds icon icon--ellipsis icon icon--error.kds icon icon--error.sm.kds icon icon--expand.kds icon icon--expand icon icon--expand icon--external.kds icon icon--external.sm.kds icon icon--external icon icon--external icon--eye icon icon--eye icon--facebook icon icon--facebook icon--filter icon icon--filter icon--filters.kds icon icon--flag-outline icon icon--flag.kds icon icon--flag.sm.kds icon icon--flag icon icon--flag icon--forward-fund icon icon--frown-filled icon icon--frown icon icon--fulfillment.kds icon icon--gear icon icon--gear icon--globe-africa icon icon--globe-africa icon--globe-america icon icon--globe-america icon--globe-asia icon icon--globe-asia icon--globe.kds icon icon--graph-bar icon icon--graph-bar icon--graph-line icon icon--graph-line icon--hamburger.kds icon icon--hamburger icon icon--happy-filled icon icon--happy icon icon--header-anchor icon icon--heading.kds icon icon--heading icon icon--heart-filled.kds icon icon--heart-filled.sm.kds icon icon--heart-outline icon icon--heart outline icon--heart-thin-outline icon Fill 1 icon--heart.kds icon icon--heart.sm.kds icon icon--heart icon icon--heart icon--heartstrings-and-hardbacks icon icon--hide.kds icon icon--home-with-door icon icon--home.kds icon icon--home icon icon--home icon--human.kds icon icon--human.sm.kds icon icon--human icon icon--human icon--humans.kds icon icon--humans icon icon--humans icon--image.kds icon icon--image icon icon--image icon--inbox.kds icon icon--inbox icon icon--inbox icon--indeterminate icon icon--info.kds icon icon--info.sm.kds icon icon--info icon icon--info icon--instagram icon icon/instagram icon--intermediate.kds icon icon--intermediate.sm.kds icon icon--italic.kds icon icon--late-pledges.kds icon icon--late-pledges.sm.kds icon icon--lightbulb.kds icon icon--lightbulb icon icon--lightbulb icon--line-graph.kds icon icon--link.kds icon icon--link icon icon--link icon--location.kds icon icon--location.sm.kds icon icon--lock-black-bg icon lock-icon icon--lock icon icon--lock icon--locked.kds icon icon--locked.sm.kds icon icon--log-out.kds icon icon--long-story-short icon icon--mail icon icon--mail icon--make-100 icon icon--media-embed.kds icon icon--meh-filled icon icon--meh icon icon--menu icon icon--menu icon--message.kds icon icon--message icon icon--message icon--milestone-dfm icon icon--milestone-idea icon icon--milestone-preprod icon icon--milestone-prod icon icon--milestone-proof-of-concept icon icon--milestone-working-prototype icon icon--minus.kds icon icon--mobile.kds icon icon--mobile icon icon--mobile icon--mute.kds icon icon--numbered-list.kds icon icon--order-management.kds icon icon--overflow icon icon--overflow icon--pause.kds icon icon--pause icon icon--pause icon--pencil icon icon--pencil icon--pie-chart icon icon--pin.kds icon icon--pin icon icon--pin icon--pinterest icon icon--pinterest icon--play-filled.kds icon icon--play.kds icon icon--play icon icon--play icon--pledges.kds icon icon--plus-human.kds icon icon--plus-human icon icon--plus-human icon--plus.kds icon icon--plus icon icon--plus icon--prohibit icon icon--prohibit icon--prohibited.kds icon icon--project-budget icon icon--project-we-love icon icon--pull-quote icon icon--pull-quote icon--pullquote.kds icon icon--question-filled icon icon--question-filled icon--question.kds icon icon--question icon icon--question icon--reorder icon icon-reorder icon--reply.kds icon icon--reply icon icon--reply icon--reward.kds icon icon--reward.sm.kds icon icon--reward icon icon--save icon icon--save icon--saved icon icon--saved icon--search.kds icon icon--search icon icon--search icon--section-break icon icon--section-break icon--sentiment-neutral-filled.kds icon icon--sentiment-neutral.kds icon icon--sentiment-satisfied-filled.kds icon icon--sentiment-satisfied.kds icon icon--sentiment-unsatisfied-filled.kds icon icon--sentiment-unsatisfied.kds icon icon--settings.kds icon icon--shipping.kds icon icon--show.kds icon icon--small-k icon icon--sound-hi icon icon--sound-hi icon--sound-lo icon icon--sound-lo icon--sound-mute icon icon--sound-mute icon--spinner.kds icon icon--star-outline icon Star Outline icon--star.kds icon icon--star.sm.kds icon icon--star icon icon--star icon--stopwatch.kds icon icon--subtitles-captions icon icon--subtitles-captions icon--success.kds icon icon--success.sm.kds icon icon--survey-multiple-choice.kds icon icon--survey-open-text.kds icon icon--survey-single-choice.kds icon icon--survey.kds icon icon--tax-documents.kds icon icon--text-bold icon icon--text-bold icon--text-bullet icon icon--text-bullet icon--text-italic icon icon--text-italic icon--textalign-centered icon icon--textalign-centered icon--textalign-right icon icon--textalign-right icon--thumbs-down icon icon--thumbs-down icon--thumbs-up icon icon--thumbs-up icon--thumbsdown-outline icon icon--thumbsdown-outline icon--thumbsup-outline icon icon--thumbsup-outline icon--timeline-to-do.kds icon icon--trash.kds icon icon--trash icon icon--trash icon--tumblr icon icon--tumblr icon--twitter icon icon--twitter icon--unlink.kds icon icon--unlink icon Artboard icon--unlock icon icon--unlock icon--unlocked.kds icon icon--unlocked.sm.kds icon icon--update-freeform-round icon icon--update-freeform-round icon--update-freeform icon icon--update-freeform icon--update-pinned icon Artboard icon--update-qa-round icon icon--update-qa-round icon--update-qa icon icon--update-qa icon--upload.kds icon icon--upload icon icon--upload icon--video.kds icon icon--video icon icon--video icon--volume-down.kds icon icon--volume-up.kds icon icon--warning.kds icon icon--warning.sm.kds icon icon--warning icon icon--witchstarter icon icon--youtube icon icon--youtube icon--zine-quest icon icon-imagealign-center icon icon-imagealign-center icon-imagealign-left icon icon-imagealign-left icon-imagealign-right icon icon-imagealign-right info icon Combined Shape Copy instagram icon instagram copy kickstarter icon Artboard Copy 5 leaf icon leaf lightbulb icon icon--lightbulb link icon Combined Shape Copy 8 loading-spin icon lock icon Combined Shape Copy 4 mail icon Combined Shape map-pin icon Fill 1 menu icon Group message icon Fill 1 Copy 12 mobile icon Page 1 Copy 2 pause icon pause copy pencil icon Combined Shape Copy 3 pin icon Combined Shape Copy 11 pinterest icon pinterest play icon play copy plus-human icon icon--plus-human plus icon Fill 1 Copy 7 question icon Combined Shape Copy 14 search icon Fill 1 Copy 11 shapeshift icon share icon Fill 1 Copy slash icon solid-arrow icon solid-arrow sound-hi icon Combined Shape sound-lo icon Combined Shape sound-mute icon Combined Shape star icon Fill 1 Copy 2 stopwatch icon Group 2 thumbs-up icon Shape tools icon Shape trash icon Combined Shape tumblr icon tumblr copy twitter icon twitter copy user icon Artboard Copy 10 volume-up icon Artboard Copy 9 warning icon Combined Shape Copy 10 write icon Artboard Copy 11 x icon Fill 1 Copy 4 youtube icon Combined Shape