Ubuntu crowd sources funding for PC smartphone hybrid

Ubuntu has invited early adopters to join crowd-funding ventures to launch Ubuntu Edge, a hybrid PC and mobile phone platform

Ubuntu has invited early adopters to join a crowd-funding ventures as part of its campaign to launch Ubuntu Edge, a hybrid PC and mobile phone platform.

Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Ubuntu, said: "There is an innovation gap." 

He claimed that pressure to sell millions of handsets was holding back manufacturers from adopting new technology. 

"There isn’t a proving ground for new technology," he said. "Crowd-funding connects innovators with early adopters and spreads risk." 

This enables manufacturers to extend a two- to three-year lead on smartphone innovation, according to Shuttleworth. He believes the project would attract funding from enterprises and gadget fans. 

"We have a bank who wants to deploy 40,000," he said.

The project aims to develop the Ubuntu Edge, converging  a mobile OS and desktop OS in a single device. The funding campaign aims to raise $32m (£21.5m) over 30 days on Indiegogo for a limited production run of 40,000 devices.

Ubuntu Edge specifications: (subject to change)

  • Dual-boot Ubuntu Edge into either Ubuntu or Android
  • Becomes a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked
  • Fast and powerful device with multi-core CPU and at least 4GB RAM
  • 128GB of storage for photos, music, content
  • 4.5in 1,280 x 720 HD display with pure sapphire crystal screen
  • Cameras made for low-light, fast response and close up pictures: 8mp rear camera, 2mp front
  • Faster connection all over the world with dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Connect to HDMI TVs and monitors easily with MHL connector, 3.5mm jack
  • GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer
  • Stereo speakers with HD audio, dual-mic recording, Active Noise Cancellation
  • Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery
  • 64 x 9 x 124mm.

He said the goal of the project was to bridge PCs with smartphones.

"We have deep roots in the PC industry. There is strong interest for full convergence between [PC] and mobile devices."

The core specification bridges mobile and PC devices, he explained. 

"We will have laptop class storage in a handheld device." He said it will include an unbreakable sapphire screen, dual band LTE and a silicon anode battery.

The Ubuntu Edge will dual boot Ubuntu phone OS and Android, and will transform into a PC when connected to a monitor, with the full Ubuntu desktop and shared access to all the phone’s file

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