Novena: The Open Source Laptop
You may have been one of the hoards of people who snapped up the Rapsberry Pi when it first came out. I know my husband was. And for just $35, it really did create a stir at the time, providing a low-cost platform that could be customised in countless ways. However it does have limitations and some have started to search for something of the same ilk but with perhaps a little more hardware.
Enter the Novena; the open source laptop. “I’ve been a hacker of consumer electronics,” said Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, Novena’s creator. “I find myself typically designing products I don’t use. I decided I wanted to design something I wanted to use.”
The Novena is a Linux-powered laptop, which allows the user to modify each and every component, tailoring the machine to their specific needs. You can literally re-wire and re-program the individual components, thanks to the housing that has been designed to be opened up, allowing you access to the heart and soul of the machine.
It’s meant to have an easy and accessible approach to electronics on the inside,” Huang says. “You can actually download the design source. You can understand the intent of every component.”
Novena is likely to appeal more to hackers due to the nature of the laptop and Huang thinks that researchers, engineers and product developers will take an interest in the product, as well as those who have security concerns, due to the “enhanced level of inspectability”.
Huang is running a crowdfunding campaign through Crowd Supply and has a target of $250,000. However at $2,000 each, Huang doesn’t think he’ll be shifting very many. The campaign runs until May 18th.