Electric Imp

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Where have I been for the past month? Well, I’ve been heads-down helping to launch the internet of things. Now that we have launched, I can tell you all about it!

I’ve had the chance to help the team over at Electric Imp un-stealth and blow minds. In a nutshell, the imp a tiny computer small and cheap enough to get anything online (truly)! Gizmodo does a a good job of explaining the imp and Engadget has some more depth in their interview with Hugo at Maker Faire .

I like to think that I’m a fairly sharp nerd, and when I saw Electric Imp’s demo over a month ago I was actually blown away. The ideas aren’t new, but the execution is superb. For me, the 3 things that are required for the "internet of things" to really take off are:

  • Cost: It needs to be cheap. With a (starting) price point of only $25 the imp is in the right ballpark. Also, the fact that you can pass imps around between your devices lowers the aggregate cost over time.
  • APIs. The value of the internet is that stuff connects to other stuff (tm). If the platform is a walled garden, than it’s not going to work. The hardware APIs on the imp are excellent, as the imp speaks just about every serial protocol that exists (spy, UART, etc) and the web service is designed to be very accessible (I made sure that every imp in your plan has its own JSON feed you can check) and the team will be adding more services all the time.
  • My mom can use it. Did you see that super-sexy drag-and-drop planner. Yeah.

My time with Electric Imp was short, but it was an awesome experience working with them and presenting to the press and working the floor at Maker Faire. Yes, my next internet-enabled nerf gun will be imp-powered.

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Hi, I'm Evan

I write about Technology, Software, and Startups. I use my Product Management, Software Engineering, and Leadership skills to build teams that create world-class digital products.

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