Over the past decade I have had a front row seat to the Hardware Renaissance. Having builtContour during a time period when “hardware” was considered a dirty word, I had the opportunity to watch Shenzen, Hong Kong, and San Francisco become the hardware startup ecosystems that everyone is talking about.
Primarily a west coast phenomenon, I didn’t spend much time in New York, until this last week. Not expecting much, I left the big Apple blown away by the energy of the hardware scene and convinced that New York will be one the epicenters for the hardware revolution.
Quietly, New York is building a thriving hardware scene from hackers to successful, multi million dollar companies. And although the shift has been recent, the depth and breadth of what is happening there is impressive.
Adafruit, a maker focused website, has the potential to become the Zappos of the electronics market. Their roots in designing beautiful, open-source hardware is transcending into a passionate community of builders. Their education programs, company transparency, and incredible customer service leaves no doubt they are going to build something amazing. Well beyond the hardware components you can buy on their website, they are slowly creating a platform that enables anyone to build hardware faster, more affordably and with higher quality.
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.