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May 12, 2011 AT 1:03 pm

Why Google Choosing Arduino Matters and is This the End of “Made for iPod” (TM)?

Why Arduino Google-1

Why Google Choosing Arduino Matters and is This the End of “Made for iPod” (TM)?

This week is the yearly Google I/O at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It’s a meet and greet for lots of people and companies, a big dot-com over-the-top party, and most of all it’s geared towards “web, mobile, and enterprise developers building applications in the cloud with Google and open web technologies… Products and technologies to be featured at I/O include App Engine, Android, Google Web Toolkit, Google Chrome, HTML5, AJAX and Data APIs, Google TV, and more.” Maybe not so much Google TV or Google Wave this year 🙂 but for open hardware and mobile folks, this was one of the most important weeks in history.

In this week’s column, I’m going to talk about Google choosing the open source hardware platform (Arduino) for the “Android Open Accessory” kit, and why this matters. I’m also going to talk a little about how Google could make it better. And then, I’m going to do what I always do in many of my columns: make predictions (Why The Arduino Won And Why It’s Here To Stay). 1) Google will have a “Kinect-style” surge of creativity for the Android + Arduino; 2) Apple will start to abandon their restrictive “Made for iPod”(TM) program and adopt the Arduino in some way for accessory development, 3) Microsoft/Nokia/Skype are likely paying attention to all this, and they should look at the Netduino for their accessory development for Windows Phone 7.

If mobile companies want to see the phone market blossom with creativity, with accessories never imagined, this is how it can happen.

Let’s jump right in…

Full article here.


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1 Comment

  1. This changes everything. Somewhere there was a post saying Android needed a "dock". My response said "Why? Android uses mini-hdmi, standard audio, and usb – unlike the proprietary connector that is "defective by design" unless apple approves it".

    Right now I have a chumby hacker board talking to my harley with a GPS and exporting an HTML5 website for a speedo/tach on any mobile device that supports it. I can switch this to any android phone now.

    Android projects used to use bluetooth, which was limited and clunky. That is just a bit better than the equivalent of my chumby hacker board supporting iOS in the form of Safari and HTML5 via wifi.

    Now android can go over USB, so the "dock" can be or do anything you can implement. Right now, I’m thinking of porting my comm analyzer/pulse measurement code, you can use the A/Ds to create an oscope or meter, control servos…

    Windows phone 7 is dead because it has a desert like ecosystem – few phones, the zune isn’t part of it, no tablets, no hardware. iOS is a big greenhouse in a prison. A few types of devices, with limited hardware (non-jailbroken, the only app I paid for was to get GPS on my iPod touch). It can’t really be a front end unless you get the NDA/approval of Apple, jailbreak, or hack a connection. Android has laptops, tablets, media players, phones, with more apps than you could use, and now hardware. The ecosystem is now so much larger than iOS.

    The Kinect is no longer a peripheral, it is an ecosystem, so sells a lot more.

    The basic hardware prototyping platform for Android is the Arduino, but the API can be done with other AVRs, or even other microcontrollers. That is openness both ways. But with the Arduino, anyone with a few dollars can do something. It isn’t an expensive ugly, closed, captive SDK.

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