Intel, ASUS and FM Team Up to Create ‘Crowdsourced’ PCs

Coming soon to a Best Buy near you: The world’s first crowdsourced computer, courtesy of Intel, IT company ASUS and Federated Media Publishing.

The three partners yesterday launched a site called WePC.com to solicit the public’s idea on what the ideal computer would look like. Visitors to the site can upload their own ideas or discuss and vote on what others say.

Sometime next year, Intel will review the proposals and produce computers based on the most popular suggestions — limited, of course, by what is actually possible (don’t hold out hope for a laptop that predicts stock market fluctuations).

“Basically what we want to do is solicit feedback on what consumers want in their next generation of PCs, then create the first line of crowdsource-designed PCs,” said Jason Ratner, director of ad sales at FM.

FM helped design the site and will manage it on a day-to-day basis. The company is also using its ad network to help drive traffic to WePC.com, running banner ads on a large number of sites within its network.

Conversations on the site will be divided into three categories: netbooks, notebooks and gaming notebooks. Intel and ASUS plan to bring to market one product in all three categories.

“We want to hear anything and everything,” said Ratner. “On the site you’ll find everything from very detailed, seriously geeked-out gamer PCs to people who want boombox laptops. It can be as fun, funny or serious as you want it to be.”

Those who submit ideas that are eventually used will receive prizes, according to a release, though no information was provided as to what those prizes would be.

The hope is to have the “dream computers” in stores in time for holiday shopping in 2009, said Ratner.

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