MiiPC, a new Kickstarter project, has been launched today by Young Song, the founder of eMachines. Young is looking to upset the traditional PC market again by launching the first family computer on Android, starting from $89 on a Kickstarter early bird discount. MiiPC allows parents to give their young children access to the Internet under their supervision from a companion mobile app.
MiiPC offers parents the chance to let their children surf the web, play games, watch media and do their homework, safe in the knowledge that they can make sure their children are not exposed to disturbing videos, unsuitable apps and inappropriate websites. The device comes with a HDMI connection, so it can be hooked up to computer monitors and most modern TVs, and with two USB ports the whole experience is optimized to provide a true keyboard and mouse experience.
Parents also have access to a MiiPC companion mobile app giving them complete peace of mind knowing that they can monitor the real-time activities of their children from anywhere - work, the supermarket, a restaurant. While they're on the move, parents can instantly adjust the settings that allow their children access to games, YouTube, Facebook and other distractions from homework and learning at home.
Young Song, Co-founder of eMachines, which was acquired by Gateway in 2004 for $265m, is the brains behind this new concept of PC and admits that kids should be trusted to use the internet, under supervision: "MiiPC came out of my experience with my two kids. We think the Internet has opened up all sorts of possibilities and I love that my children have access to information for their classes at the tip of their fingertips. However at the same time the Internet poses significant challenges for parents. Traditional software or hardware solutions simply block kids from going to certain websites. This is inherently limiting and it also does not address what we believe is a key challenge with kids and the Internet: its addictiveness."
"We developed MiiPC as a simple and elegant solution. It allows you to monitor your child's activity, but at the same time start an open and honest conversation with them about the content they're looking at and the time they spend on different tasks."
MiiPC has been developed to stop family squabbles over the computer use, too. Multi-user accounts can be set-up for different family members, giving each different access to suitable apps and games. A parent can register any number of family members and can carefully monitor use (and misuse!) in real time on the MiiPC companion mobile app. You can see if one member is hogging the computer and make sure that every child gets their time online.
MiiPC runs on top of Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) leveraging the ever-growing Android application ecosystem. To complete the desktop computing experience MiiPC comes with pre-bundled Android apps and access to a Web Apps Center which will include productivity, games, entertainment, multimedia and educational selections.
Full specifications include:
- Processor: Marvell® ARMADA® Family Series Dual Core 1.2GHz SoC / Memory: 1GB DDR System RAM
- Storage: 4GB Internal Flash (expandable via SD Slot and USB port)
- Connectivity: WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Ethernet Port, and Bluetooth (4.0)
- Connect to TV: HDMI (1080p/720p) output
- I/O: 2 USB 2.0 Ports, Speaker & Microphone Jack
- MiiPC Companion Mobile App for iOS and Android
*Keyboard, mouse & HDMI cable are sold separately
MiiPC is hoping to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter to test the market for a PC aimed at bringing back 'Power to the Parents' and can only become a reality by being backed by parents from around the world. To back MiiPC please visit:http://www.miipc.com/kickstarter and as an early bird backer you will receive your MiiPC before July 15, 2013.