Intel and Asus collaborate on open source 'dream' PC hardware

Today, Intel and Asus unveiled a collaborative project which they hope will yield the first PC designed by "crowdsourcing."

WePC.com has been created to give consumers a place to discuss ideas and designs for three styles of PC that Asus will eventually build with Intel Atom, Centrino 2, and Centrino 2 Extreme processors. The three categories are: Gamer, Notebook, and Netbook.

Users submit their "dream PCs" and design ideas, which are then voted and commented upon by other users. Prizes will be awarded to those users whose creative input has proven productive, though as of launch there are no other details regarding winning criteria or prizes.

To share an idea or dream PC, a participant fills out a description of what how her idea works, along with its key features. Also included is an in-browser image creation tool identical to the Facebook Graffiti application.

While some of the submissions are flights of fancy (a "future-proof" laptop that avoids obsolescence, or a heads-up display for eyeglasses), some are simple tweaks that could be done to improve the appearance or performance of Asus PCs.

Since it is crowdsourcing, the quality of submissions also varies from cogent and attractive to abysmally poor.

Kari Aakre of Intel's Global Communications Group said, "What I really like about this site is that it makes use of the power of community and people coming together with their ideas and talents to explore together what the ideal PC would be. It kind of reminds me of what Dell has done with their popular Idea Storm site, where consumers can help influence product design and development."

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