Update: Since this article's original publication in July of 2015, the Remix Mini has gone up from its initial $20 price point. Please check the Jide website for the most current information on pricing and product specs.
Within hours of its launch, the Remix Mini--the world's first Android PC--surpassed its $50k fund goal, and for good reason: the Remix Mini is a $20 mini computer that runs on an Android operating system. The basic model has 8GB of storage, a simple back interface with two USB ports, ethernet jack, and HDMI jack. It's Bluetooth compatible and obviously Wi-Fi enabled.
The true earthshaker is that--at a $20 price point--it effectively negates the need for Roku, Apple TV, and an entire host of other streaming devices. Plus, it gives low-income families access to home computing. There's no underestimating how big an impact that will be, from allowing new mothers to take online classes to helping children research their homework. Having an inexpensive computer in every home is a monumental feat.
There have also been rumblings about the end of the laptop computer for years, but this little computer may be the first true indication of how real that premonition may be. There will soon be little need for hefty computers with massive storage as data increasingly migrates to cloud solutions, and the Remix Mini can handle the tasks most used for basic users, anyway.
There's also something to be said about familiarity. While Apple users with iPhones are more likely to buy Macs due to their familiarity with the ecosystem, Android users will appreciate the moderate learning curve when transferring the environment they use on their phone to their home computer.
Designers should keep the changing trends in mind when releasing new products. Less is more, and stability (like the kind of the Android OS) plays a larger role more than ever. Luxury computers and their components may fall by the wayside as mass adoption of smaller, more efficient computers becomes the next big thing.