Meet Solu

In terms of products that teeter between being industry disruptors and flashy gimmicks, the Finnish-engineered Solu may take the cake.

Don’t be fooled by the Solu’s delightfully small, square shape and cute, partially wooden exterior- this little device is actually more powerful than any mobile and is designed to be plugged into desktop screens when not used as the world’s smallest handheld personal computer. Its operating system is Windows-esque and connects easily to your contacts.

solu computer

The Solu can be paired with a keyboard and hooked up to a display with up to a 4K resolution. In these circumstances, the Solu can also be used as a computer mouse.

As an engineering project, the Solu attracted the aspiration of a team of Finnish tech leaders including Kristoffer Lawson, Javier Reyes and Nixu founder Pekka Nikande, all of whom were attracted by the opportunity to disrupt the personal computing establishment.

As Lawson said, “When the challenge is big enough, the smart people will get inspired.”

Lawson believes that the domination of Microsoft and Apple over the personal computing industry has been harmful towards its development. He believes that there are major areas for growth in personal computer developments that have been largely ignored.

One particular area of growth Lawson sees is the way that computers connect to the internet: “Yes we have email but we’re still fighting with backups, hard drive space and downloading and installing applications. The whole internet is not a natural part of the computer itself. If you run out of local resources, you’re screwed.”

Solu’s hardware is linked directly to a cloud service based out of Finland that the team has also engineered. The cloud allows for the user to scale up, while the device itself has a capacity of 32 GB.

Unlike Google’s Chromebook, the Solu is designed to work offline as opposed to being “basically just a web browser.”

Perhaps most striking about the Solu is its unique interface. As opposed to being organized by file type or location, memory spaces are presented as a web of bubble-ish nodes resembling a textbook image of a neural pathway.

solu2

Even the computer software payment model of Solu is unique. Users pay a fixed fee every month for as much cloud storage as they need and access to as many apps as they want. Solu is buckling down with some new developers to create its own apps and also works with Android apps.

Regardless of what happens with this strange little device, it is somewhat refreshing to see a new player enter the game, and bring along with it a host of new ideas about how people can use and relate to their virtual worlds. As stated on their website, Solu is truly “Rethinking the computer”:

“Our entire ecosystem is built around the way people work and play today, allowing you the freedom and flexibility to get things done wherever you are, whenever you need them done.”

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