Ubuntu Edge: A $32 million campaign to create 'the future of the phone'

 

Building on their vision of 'Convergence' as the future of computing, Canonical - the creators of open-source OS Ubunutu -  have launched a new Indiegogo campaign to create the Edge: a smartphone 'for the future' that will double up as desktop PC.

The new handset will come with dual-chip LTE for high-speed internet 4G in both Europe and the US, and will sport at least 128GB internal storage and 4GB of RAM. Although the processor has yet to be announced Ubuntu promise that they will use the fastest available on launch to make the phone "a potent little PC when docked."

Introducing the project in a YouTube video Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth described the project as not only a new direction for phone hardware, but also a new model of financing for the phone industry, that was better compared with car manufacturers:

“With the car industry we have Formula One to test new technology. But the mobile industry has nothing like that – there’s no premium segment for expert drivers. It’s like everyone is driving mass-produced sedans."

As a fixed funding project the device is an all-or-nothing, and without $32m raised by August 21 the Edge will not go ahead. Although the funding currently stands at over $3 million, complaints have been raised about the Edge's somewhat erratic price points - a $20 donation gets you 'founder' status (and little besides), which jumps up to $600 (a limited 24 hour offer) and $830 to actually get your hands on a handset.

The Edge will also have 4.50inch display, with a focus on "colour accuracy and brightness" rather than resolution, and the glass screen will be replaced by sapphire crystal - "a material so hard you'll need diamonds in your pockets to scratch it."

The handset will also dual boot both Ubuntu and Android, meaning any apps you've purchased from Google will remain of use, and will come with an 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel camers facing from the front.

The specs for the Edge - as well as the teased images of the handset- are certainly impressive, but it's Ubuntu's idea of 'Convergence' that's most integral to the project. Offering a mobile that doubles up as a PC has failed in the past (the Motorola Atrix was a notable example - shipping back in 2011 with a tiny dual-core 1GHz Cortex A9 processor), though Canonical are confident that the Edge's higher specs and the smooth crossover between the Ubuntu operating system for mobile and desktop will make all the difference.

The project's certainly nothing if not ambitious - if it makes the $32 million mark it will have tripled the current highest crowd-sourcing fund, $10m for the Pebble smart watch - and Shuttleworth describes it as "a crazy, beautiful idea."

"But if there are enough of us out there – enough enthusiasts who want the ultimate in performance, storage, screen, battery and bandwith, then the Ubuntu Edge will be the catalyst for awesome innovation and a taste of the future of the phone."

There may be enough enthusiasts to fund the project (though they'll have to keep donating $1m each day until the project ends), but whether the project could ever live up to it's own hype remains to be seen.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie has made the top spot after a strong Glastonbury performance
musicAnd what's more it's the last Sunday night chart topper - ever!
News
news
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
Arts and Entertainment
DJ Chris Moyles who claimed to be a second-hand car dealer in a bid to save up to £1 million in tax, a tribunal has found
radio
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

    Recruitment Genius: Support and Development Engineer

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Designer

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Gazetteer Consultant

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...

    Day In a Page

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate