The times they are a-changin’. Companies selling electronics to makers, hobbyists, and professionals will also need to teach and inspire. Selling the bits just isn’t enough. This week’s Soapbox is all about the growing trend of hardware makers becoming online educational destinations in addition to simply supplying product. Good information is a form of advertising, and good information is what modern-day hardware companies will need to provide to compete for attention and sales. If you’re a maker or company considering launching a product, you’ll need to create great documentation. And if you’re a customer, you’ll make your purchase decision on who has the best tutorials and support — costs always counts too : ). Here’s a look at hardware companies that have learning resources right now as part of their offerings, and what’s ahead.
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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