By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley
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Intel and manufacturer ASUS have launched a project asking people to say what they would like to see in a PC.
The companies are asking people to "dream the impossible" to help design the first community-designed PC.
A website, WePC.com, has been set up to allow people to share and comment on ideas to "enable a global conversation about the ideal elements of a PC."
Both companies insist the project is not simply cheap talk, saying there is a commitment to building the machine.
"The spark for innovation can come from anywhere," said Intel's Mike Hoeffinger.
He added that both companies have joined together "to tap into the creative energy of consumers...and give people a voice in the design of technology they use every day."
Technology companies have always asked for customer feedback, but this is being billed as a new approach to product design and to customer involvement, says Lillian Lin, the director of marketing and planning at ASUS.
"By empowering WePC.com users to play a role in the design process, we expect to deliver cutting-edge community-designed products that address a consumer vision of the dream PC," said Ms Lin.
"Ghetto blaster laptop"
The mission statement for WePC.com is simple :"You dream it. ASUS builds it. Intel inside it."
The companies will also award prizes to some for their creative efforts
"Your designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and could influence the blueprint of an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside," said the website.
"Everyone is very aware there is a commitment from everyone involved," said Josh Mattison of Federated Media, which is involved in the marketing campaign.
"If you start a conversation with your customers, the first step is knowing their voices will be heard and incorporating that into those companies' larger thought processes. That is absolutely something you can expect to see."
The community will be divided into what Intel has called three "conversation groups". They will address three of the most popular consumer PC categories: netbooks, notebooks and gaming notebooks.
WePC.com has urged users to let their imagination run wild.
"There is no limit to creativity," said Mr Mattison.
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"And there is no forum quite like this for expressing that. Let those ideas flow, whether it's concerning something purely functional like battery life or something a bit more 'out there' like a computer needing a haircut every two weeks," he said.
Some of the suggestions for the community-designed PC already include a ghetto blaster laptop with woofers and tweeters and a "happy laptop" that would wake the user up in the morning.
It is unlikely that any consumer-inspired PC will make the market any time soon and it could be well into 2009 before the "dream PC" is turned into reality.