Electric Imp Will Connect (Almost) Everything You Own to the Internet
By Kevin Lee
PCWorldMay 17, 2012 11:46 am PDT
Everything! Your blender, toaster, washing machine, light switch, and just about every electronic doo-hickey you have in your house could one day be connected to the Internet.
Electric Imp is a start up founded by Former iPhone engineering manager Hugo Fiennes, former Gmail designer Kevin Fox, and firmware engineer Peter Hartley. The company’s mission is to turn every product you own into an Internet-connected contraption with the addition of a tiny Imp card.
Imp Cards are SD-card sized chips that have a Wi-Fi antenna (similar to the image-uploading Eye-Fi cards) and an embedded processor. To pair an Imp card with any piece of electronic gadgetry, you only need to connect it to an Imp microcontroller board. Electric Imp is also in talks with product manufactures to have Imp card compatible slots preinstalled.
Once your gadgets are all linked up, they’ll connect to the Imp cloud. From there, you can remotely control them from a smartphone or even work with other connected contraptions. Of course, to Arduino and other microcontroller programmers, automating your home is nothing new. But for the less technically inclined, Electric Imp promises to let you automate your home without forcing you to program control software for ever single thing.
Electric Imp plans to release a developer preview bundle in June with the first Imp Card compatible contraptions to arrive by the end of the year. Gizmodo reports that Imp Cards will cost $25, while the circuit boards are expected to retail between $10 and $20.
Electric Imp will be showing off its hardware at the Bay Area Maker Faire in the San Mateo Event Center this weekend, May 19 and 20.