About this project
We are building Solu because we are inspired by the idea that humans should not be in the service of computers.
We love the complexity and power of computers, but have seen our friends and family struggling, and sometimes failing, as they attempt to learn how to do something with their computing devices today.
We are building Solu for them.
Solu is rethinking how people interact with computers.
Solu is an advanced cloud-linked computer. You will never again need to worry about your hard drive, file backups or software installations – Solu does it for you. Yet, Solu also works offline, synchronizing your data as soon as you’re connected to the Internet.
For a year now, we have been working with a selected group of partners to bring Solu from a collection of ideas and sketches to a fully functioning product: the world’s first cloud-linked computer.
SoluCloud will store your data, device status and application settings automatically, without you having to spend a minute managing it.
The virtually unlimited storage of SoluCloud combined with SoluOS ensure that the data and tools you need are always available and cached on the device for easy access – even when you are offline.
Cloud integration means that your Solu is always backed up. If you lose it or break it, just turn on your new Solu, log into your account and continue where you left off.
Beautiful Design, Inside and Out
Solu is a pocket-sized computer that works as a stand-alone portable device. Alternatively, it can be connected to a screen and keyboard for a full desktop experience.
The physical device was designed to have a minimalistic, organic look that matches the form and function of its intuitive UI. Instead of cold metal or cheap plastic, we carved part of the device from real wood that is warm to touch and develops character over time.
Used as a pocket computer, Solu has its own edge-to-edge touch screen with a zoomable interface, incredible accuracy and amazing contrast. Its built-in battery allows the device to be used on the go. Once connected to an external monitor with the elegant USB type C port, Solu’s screen transforms into a smart touchpad with context-specific controls.
Collaborative by default
People no longer work alone or as cogs in the machine; they work together. SoluOS is designed to support the modern way of working, where people are often editing the same document at the same time.
SoluOS is collaborative by nature. Document sharing and discussions are at the very core of its OS, available to you across projects and documents. Even when you are working offline, Solu will automatically synchronize your changes the moment you come online.
Native apps and tools track all the changes you make in your documents. Whether you are working on something alone or with a group, you’ll always have access to the complete history.
When you share something, you’re not just sharing the document. You’re also sharing the application used to edit that document, which means that your collaborators can start working as soon as they open it.
Disrupting the software industry
The software industry is broken, and we have the means to fix it. Up until now, developers have been forced to charge substantial fees from a handful of clients or resort to getting pennies from individual users. Solu replaces this outdated business model by charging all users a small monthly fee.
For a fixed monthly fee of $20, you get all the storage and apps you need, without annoying in-app purchases, freemium options or advertisements. We are also helping developers to make a living out of their apps by sharing a fair portion of the monthly fee with them.
Developer rewards are allocated based on exact user data. Our algorithm takes various factors into account: the number of users, the frequency of use, the length of each use and its overall usefulness.
We are working with a number of development houses to bring their collaborative tools to Solu, but we also support legacy Android apps.
Made in FinlandFinland is best known for its technological innovation. It is the country that led the mobile revolution, where Linux was created and where databases were refined with MySQL. It is the home to some of the world’s leading gaming companies including Rovio and Supercell.
Solu was created in that environment. It was inspired by the nature and skills of the Nordic people. Not only was Solu invented in Finland but it is also designed, built, tested and packaged there.
What the Media is saying about us
“This is one we’ll be keeping an eye on.” -The Gadget Show (Channel 5)
"Solu’s interface is striking. It completely eschews the mathematical information architecture of Windows and OS X” -The Guardian
"If you’ve grown weary of following the Apple herd and fancy a change in computing experience, the Solu Social Computer is funding over on Kickstarter and, from what we’ve seen at Coolector HQ, it very much looks as though it could be a winner.” -The Coolector
Solu is not merely a company it's a team of a dozen people, driven by a common goal. You can learn more about us on our web site.
Our core values and beliefs are he driving force behind everything we do:
We subscribe to and believe in innovation through every level of Solu and its activities.
• We strive for excellence and have pride in what we do.
• We are different.
• Results and attitude is more important than facetime.
• We embrace failure, it's a step on the path to success
• Independence creates motivation.
• We want experimentation and exploration to be goals in and of themselves.
• Just as our product, we are modular: responsibility is shared and P2P is our core.
• We will have fun.
• We appreciate the ethics of true hacker culture.
Most importantly, we are not a conventional company. We are an enterprise, a crew of individuals who work together all aiming in the same direction. We are not a slogan, a document, or a logo. We are a team of organized people striving to be happy at work. We do that by creating things that make us and our loved ones proud.
Solu as an organization subscribes to the triple bottom line: people, planet and proﬁt. While we need proﬁt in order to survive, grow and give back, the greater objective of Solu is to be an enterprise which looks after its people, its community, and the environment. We are proud of Solu and we hope that you are too.
- Screen - 1440 x 1440, 450ppi, with an edge-to-edge touch
- External display - support for up to 4K monitors
- Processor - 2.3GHz NVIDIA 4-Plus-1™ quad-core ARM® Cortex™-A15 CPU™
- Graphics - NVIDIA Kepler™ GPU with 192 NVIDIA CUDA® cores
- RAM - 4GB LPDDR3
- Cache capacity - 32GB
- Connectivity - Dual-band 2x2 MIMO WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, and USB Type C
- Battery - 1200mAh
- Dimensions - 102mm (4.02in) x 102mm (4.02in) x 13mm (0.512in)
- Operating System - SoluOS
Risks and challenges
A project of this magnitude always contains risks. There are naturally areas of the software, in particular, which are still under development, and others which currently lack polish. Members of the Solu team have, however, delivered multiple hardware and software projects for a variety of companies ranging from large enterprises to startups. The progress of Solu has been extremely swift.
To minimize delays in delivery, we have completed a lion’s share of the work before launching our campaign on Kickstarter. We have been developing and testing the software for almost a year. We have built a number series of prototypes for the hardware, and have partnered with established hardware engineers to build the device. We have signed a contract with our manufacturing partner, and placed orders for several of the parts with long lead times.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Our current plan is that the monthly fee would be 20€ (at current rates $22-$23)
If there is enough demand from users, we may look at other levels (i.e. put more complex bundles together)
We are working to determine a free subscription tier. The details remain to be decided.
If you later on decide that you don't want to be part of the Solu ecosystem any longer, not even in the free tier, you can still access your data stored in external clouds (like your own private cloud or e.g. Dropbox), and use the then-current versions of the applications, without collaboration, when you terminate your plan completely. However, there will be no automatic backups, no updates to the OS or the applications, and no possibility of starting to use new applications. Basically everything in the device will continue to work, but the services requiring access to the Solu cloud will either terminate immediately or will be seriously restricted
One of the core principles behind Solu is that it will be zero maintenance.
This can only really be done by having a tight integration between the hardware and software.
With only a web page, browser based app or even a full native app, Solu will not be possible because there will always be a layer that we can't "see" into that will cause failures.
Solu connects to the Internet with WiFi, BlueTooth, or with an USB Type C cable through a suitable adapter or other device providing Internet connectivity.
We will use our algorithm to divide the revenue to shares. The application’s revenue does not depend on how many people downloaded the app but primarily on how much the application is used and how useful the application is to the users. Consider, for example, a mobile banking app. It needs to be used quite rarely, only once a week or so, to pay bills, but most users cannot do without it. Hence, they are likely to rate its importance high, thereby increasing its share compared to some other rarely used app.
There are two ways to connect with your friends and colleagues: a more secure and a less secure way. If you want to connect with your friend in a highly secure way, you connect your Solu with your friends by putting them physically together. The devices exchange security keys with each other, using the physical proximity to secure the key exchange from eavesdroppers. If you do not place such high requirements for security, you can use e-mail, Facebook, or some other existing online relationship to connect with your friends.
There will be limited support from day one, although this improves constantly with time. Generally network printers will work better than non-networked ones
The first generation Solu devices do not have a cellular modem. However, if you cell phone allows WiFi, BlueTooth or USB tethering, you can share your cell phone’s Internet connection to your Solu.
We have been developing unique technology that minimises this risk, called a Causal Tree. Conflicts can still happen, and applications employ different logic to resolve them. For normal text documents the ‘latest edit’ is often sufficient. Consider, though, that with this Causal Tree Solu remembers everything, so if a conflict is resolved wrongly, the user can always go back and pull back any missed edits. Finally, though, it is worth pointing out that conflicts actually happen a bit less often than imagined as people are editing different parts of the document at different times. Solu is synchronised to the Internet as soon as it can, so the risks are minimised.
By default, the data is stored into the Solu cloud, encrypted using convergent encryption at the device itself. You can define the data storage separately for each project. Alternatively, you can defined that the data of a project is stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, or in your own cloud, such as a private cloud run by yourself or a corporate cloud.
Your data security depends on which cloud backend you are using. If you are using Solu cloud, all data stored into the cloud will be encrypted in the device itself using convergent encryption. The message streams used for collaboration are encrypted using standard symmetric encryption. The key management protocol uses public key pairs stored securely into the devices themselves, and has perfect forward security.
If you want to know more, please follow the discussion at our forums at http://solumachines.co
When you store your data into Solu cloud, it is technically impossible for Solu Machines (Company) or anybody else to access your data without the encryption keys. By default your encryption keys are kept to the device itself and backed up into Solu cloud under a password selected by you. However, if you are security conscious, you can backup the keys manually somewhere else. For example, you can backup the encryption keys to a USB stick and keep the stick in a safe.
The exact method on how to install and update legacy Android applications has not been determined. At the moment we are still using the way developers use, i.e. using the adb command line interface.
We are looking into possibilities to open source part or all of the work we have been doing.
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