Education

Build-your-own pocket gaming computer

A pocket gaming successor to classic 1980s home computer the Sinclair ZX Spectrum has been developed using a Raspberry Pi motherboard and snap-fit assembly that takes just 30 minutes. It’s the work of Grant Sinclair, nephew of British inventor Sir Clive Sinclair. Matthew Stock reports.

The Sinclair C5 electric trike never caught on for inventor Sir Clive Sinclair.

But his classic ZX Spectrum computer was a huge hit in the 1980s.

Here’s his nephew Grant Sinclair, sitting in one of his uncle’s ill-fated vehicles.

Here he is 3 decades later with his own version, the Iris.

Sinclair has now turned his attention to computing, hoping to emulate his uncle’s success.

The POCO (pron. Pok-OH) is a do-it-yourself pocket gaming computer.

It comes with a Raspberry Pi motherboard and all the other components to build a mini computer in about 30 minutes.

GRANT SINCLAIR, INVENTOR OF POCO – POCKET RASPBERRY PI GAMING KIT,

“With the POCO you get everything you need to build a pocket gaming computer straight out the box. It’s almost like a puzzle – it has everything you need… Obviously it’s been influenced by my uncle’s work, but it’s very different. A lot’s changed these days. The Raspberry Pi has sold 20 million units which is incredible. But I think a lot of people who are buying the Raspberry Pi are playing games on it, and that’s what really gave me the idea to build a little kit computer that you could build in your own time in a short space of time and then create your own games.”

Despite its size, Sinclair says the POCO is essentially a fully functional PC – perfect for encouraging the next generation of computer whizzkids

Users can program animations and games using a drag-and-drop interface. It can also be hacked for more advanced modification.

EMMA WILLIAMS, TEACHER AT WYEDEAN SCHOOL,

“Children love to physically build, it helps them learn a lot, they really get inspired and they feel that they accomplish something… And what is different about this is they can share their skills… they can build a game and then somebody else can then develop and build on it further – and that is something quite unique in computing at the moment.”

The POCO, Pocket Raspberry Pi Gaming Kit, costs 190 dollars with the first orders shipping in January.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.