We had a busy summer and so did many of the developers in our Early Access Developer Program. The program was a success, although we were only able to get through a third of our mailing list. We received invaluable feedback and suggestions from the developer community and now it’s time to open up the developer program to everyone.
Imp Cards Now Available
SparkFun Electronics is the first vendor to offer imp cards for sale to anyone, no invitation code required. They are also manufacturing and selling two prototyping boards: an Electric Imp Breakout board based on the ‘April’ design, and an Electric Imp Shield to easily add powerful WiFi and Imp cloud capability to Arduino projects. SparkFun also has a number of international distributors, who may be able to supply imp cards internationally.
If SparkFun is out of imp supplies, be sure to add yourself to their ‘Autonotify’ list on the product page. They’re releasing dev boards as they make them, so new inventory will be available frequently.
The Road Ahead
The imp hardware is now complete and in large-scale production and we are now focusing our effort on increasing the capability of the cloud service. We’re making a development and management environment that will support the vendor managing and monitoring the health of hundreds of thousands of imp-powered devices in the field.
We’re building a powerful API to suit a wide range of device use cases and deployment scenarios. As products get closer to market, we see two primary categories of devices:
- Those that live in a vertical ecosystem, with their own apps (mobile or otherwise) and their own set of devices specifically built to work together (what we refer to as ‘m2m’ (machine-to-machine) devices)
- Those designed to work with the horizontal platform of other imp-powered devices, with the intention that end-users can use devices of different kinds from different vendors seamlessly, creating powerful behaviors and solutions on the fly (we call these ‘consumer platform’ devices).
We’re launching the tools to help m2m device makers deploy these devices to customers very early next year. These management tools will be available for testing in early December. The consumer platform experience, built on top of the m2m platform, is targeted for mid 2013.
Come meet the Electric Imp team! We will be at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire to be held in Oakland, California, on Sunday, October 14th. Apologies to those outside of the Bay Area. We’re hoping to have more developer-run meetups and hackathons in the coming year.
Make sure to subscribe to our email list (and provide a zip code) to receive updates on events near you.
And There is More
In the coming weeks, we’ll provide more updates including introductions to our growing team (we’ve grown by four since June!), electric imp events to add to your calendar (including another SF hackathon), more on developer kit availability and previews of awesome imp-enabled products.