IBM Unveils World’s Smallest Computer

Briony O’Neill -

If you’ve bought a powerful graphics card for your computer, you’ll know that such things can be a great deal bigger than you might assume. This being said, computers seem to be getting bulkier, in parallel to being capable of impressive power.

At least that’s the way it’s been for some time. Flying in the face of this trend, IBM has unveiled a computer so small, that you might just have trouble believing your eyes. And that’s not just because the computer is so small, it’s rather difficult to see. Literally smaller than an unprocessed grain of salt, this new computer is a sign of things to come in the computer world.

Small And Capable

The tiny computer fits on the tip of your finger, not even able to cover a fingerprint. And, the most amazing part of all, the little computer is also capable of doing a fair amount of work. Perhaps not in comparison to modern computers by a long shot, and not even as powerful as a modern smartphone, but one has to cut a computer this small some slack.

In drawing a comparison, the tiny computer can be equated to one from the early 1990s. Which is to say; it’s similar to a computer about twenty-five years old. Though, the design wouldn't exactly allow for playing any twenty five year old games. Instead, it will have only limited functionality, aimed specifically at tracking shipment goods.

Computers In Everyday Items

Briony O’Neill -

So it can be expected that the tiny computer will be embedded in items, and track their location. This will certainly come in handy not only for informing companies where their shipments are in the world, but helping find shipments if they happen to be lost, or stolen. But then, you might be thinking that a fairly advanced computer the size of a grain of salt will be costing a small fortune.

Wrong, the tiny computers can be manufactured for an astonishing ten cents. How this cost effectiveness works, exactly, IBM did not go into detail about, but needless to say the potential of such dirt cheap tiny computers quickly becomes clear. It makes sense that retailers would like to have tracking computers in virtually all their goods, making stealing those goods an extremely difficult task. That is, unless the thief can quickly find and remove a computer so small, it could be hidden just about anywhere.

Rapid Technology Advancement

When near microscopic, reasonably powerful computers are announced, a person can simply sit back, and be awed by how fast technology is evolving. The leaps and bounds are incredible, to the extent that it becomes impossible to try predicting where the next twenty-five years may end up. The potential of such condensed technology could mean incredible things for future smartphone designs, the digital world, ecommerce, online casinos and just about every other sector that relies on technology in one way or another. The possibilities seem endless.

Now imagine trying to showing a person twenty-five years ago a portable, extremely powerful computer in the average persons pocket, able to connect to the Internet, and access a twenty four hour a day digital casino, offering thousands of unique games. That person may well faint in disbelief. Now try telling them that in the future their colossal computer will fit in a grain of salt, and they may just think you’re lying.

Then again, imagine a person twenty-five years from now showing you their computers. Or can you even conceive of what that future computer may look like?