Friday, May 18, 2012

Electric Imp connects projects to the Internet

Electric Imp connects projects to the Internet:

If you’re planning a build that communicates wirelessly to that ‘Internet of things’ we’ve been hearing about, you might want to check out the Electric Imp. This tiny little card connects your project to the Internet without all the hassle of configuring an embedded wireless device.
Inside the Electric Imp is a good bit of hardware: an ARM CortexM3, and an 802.11b/g/n wi-fi module that will connect to your wireless network automatically. There are also a few pins left over for serial, I2C, SPI and PWM applications.
Instead of manually configuring the DNS and WPA encryption, the Electric Imp does all of this automatically.
We have no idea how the Electric Imp configures itself, but we’d bet it’s something along the lines of plugging the SD card-sized Imp into a computer and piggybacking off the computer’s credentials
. The Imp also uses a cloud service, but we’ll bet once Imps are out in the wild, you’ll be able to use them with your own network.
The Electric Imp card itself will sell for about $25, but there are also dev kits to turn the Imp into an Arduino-compatible board. If everything goes as planned, the Imp will be released sometime this summer; we’ll probably see a few Electric Imp projects finished before August.
EDIT: [Kevin] over at Electronic Imp wrote in and told us about the configuration process:
We have an iOS and Android app where the user enters their wireless network’s SSID and the password, then they hold the screen up to the Imp. There’s a photosensor in the Imp that picks up the phone’s flashing and configures the device optically, without the need of plugging it in to a computer, setting up a temporary network for config, or any other cumbersome mechanisms.
We’re basically looking at a much cooler version of the Timex Datalink here. Awesome.

Filed under: hardware, wireless hacks

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