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…
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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