Intel announced their Compute Card at this year’s CES as a better-thought-out version of their existing Compute Stick. AnandTech:

The Intel Compute Card has been designed to be a universal computing platform for different kinds of devices, including those that do not exist yet. The ultimate goal is to simplify the way companies develop equipment, use, maintain, repair, and upgrade it. Creators of actual devices have to design a standard Intel Compute Card slot into their product and then choose an Intel Compute Card that meets their requirements in terms of feature-set and price.

What makes this compelling to me is both the commoditization of the compute core but also the interface – this looks to be something that is user-upgradeable. The coupling of the “smart” portions of a smart TV or refrigerator seem to have no chance of staying current, yet we still want appliances that last 10-25 years. Perhaps that last bit is hopeful but I think we can agree that a computing device that lasts more than 5 is hopeful at best.

Upgradeability is a pipe dream even in very expensive hosts such as modern day passenger vehicles. While Apple and Google are investing in generic infotainment platforms like CarPlay and Android Auto, it’s nearly impossible to get these platforms if you didn’t buy a car that includes one of them. There are exceptions but they are rare.

Imagine a future in which the whole guts of the infotainment system were based on a replaceable compute card and upgradeable with some basic technical knowledge or an inexpensive visit to a dealer?

Sign me up.