The VERVE Connects Sensors Your Computer for Gaming, Monitoring, and More

The VERVE is a little box that connects to one of the USB port of your Windows or Mac OS X computer (Linux support coming in 2014), and supports up to 7 sensors. It is available as part of a kit for $99 on Kickstarter. The kit includes the VERVE, a mini USB to USB cable, seven “sensors” (A force sensor, a push button, a light sensor, a potentiometer, a motion sensor, a magnet sensor, and a touch sensor), two banana clips for the touch sensor, seven cables to connect the sensors to the VERVE unit, and 5 extension blocks. Once the VERVE unit is connected to your computer, and the needed sensors are connected to the VERVE, you can launch the VERVE application to visualize the sensors data in real-time, and assign a mouse or keyboard action based on the sensor’s data level as shown below. There’s also an […]

Pressy Adds a Physical Button to Your Phone via the Headphone Jack

As smartphones manufacturers are mostly getting rid off physical buttons on smartphones, Pressy is looking to add a smart one (think Morse code) via your headphone jack. It allows you do common tasks, such as turning on your flashlight, taking a quick photo, or calling your girl (or man), by the click, or a few clicks, of a button. This little add-on has already proved to be popular with some, as the developers have already raised $100,000 via Kickstarter for their $17 toy. There’s does not seem to be anything special inside the button/jack, and all the “magic” occur with the app (Available for Android only at the moment), which let you configure action based on short/long key presses like you would do with Morse code. If you want to use you headphone, simply remove Pressy, insert it in its optional key chain, and place your headphone to use them as […]

$25 Flutter is a Wireless Arduino compatible Board with Up to 1 km Range

There are already several ways to add wireless connectivity to your hardware project. For short ranges, we can use protocols such as Bluetooth (e.g. RFDuino, BLEDuino projects, or Bluetooth USB dongle), for much longer ranges 3G/4G connectivity may be required, and achievable via a 3G/4G USB dongle, or SparqEE CELLv1.0 project for example. But what if you want something in the middle with a range closer to 1km? Flutter boards using the 915MHz band (US only) can provide such range, and are software compatible with the Arduino. There are two version of the board: Flutter Basic – Board with an low-profile integrated antenna. It features micro USB for power, an LED, and a button, as well as several digital and analog I/O. Flutter Pro – Board with external antenna (and probably longer range). It comes with all features found in Flutter Basic, and adds battery charging, an additional button, and […]

SparqEE CELLv1.0 Devkit Adds a SIM Card to Your Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or Other Hardware

There are several ways to add wireless connectivity to your sensors, relays, motors, or other devices. Bluetooth, Zigbee and Wi-Fi can all do a good job for short ranges, and the Weigthless standard will eventually provide ranges up to 10km with ultra low power on free spectrum, but it is not available right now, and a good way to achieve longer ranges is to use cellular networks. SparqEE has designed a development kit called CELLv1.0 to add GSM and 3G connectivity to the Internet of things, including (optional) shields for Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards. Here are some technical specifications for the kit: Cellular Networks – WCDMA/HSDPA 2100/1900/900MHz, GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900MHz, 384Kbps, DL3.6Mbps HSDPA via ZTE modem Protocols – Data (TCP/UDP), SMS ready Serial interface – Serial (UART, From Cellular Board is 1.8V, From Jumper board is any voltage (ex. 3.3V, 5V)) USB – (power, USART, and modem) Input Voltage – […]

$275 HackRF Open Source Software Defined Radio (SDR) Platform

HackRF is an open source hardware project to build a Software Defined Radio (SDR) supporting a frequency range between 30 MHz and 6GHz in both directions (Tx and Rx, half-duplex) with a maximum bandwidth of 20MHz. Jawbreaker (shown below) is a beta hardware that has been tested by several developers and beta testers, and applications such as Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Bluetooth monitoring, spectrum sensing, wireless microphones, AIS, FM radio, etc.. have already been ported to the platform. In order to lower the cost of the hardware, Michael Ossmann has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund mass production. There seems to be many SDR enthusiasts as the campaign has already reached its funding target ($80,000) and received for over $300,000 in ledges. What is Software Defined Radio (SDR) and What Can it Be Used for? Before providing details about the hardware and software, it may be useful to provide some […]

$359 Red Pitaya Board Combines an Oscilloscope, a Spectrum Analyser, a Waveform Generator and More

If you need to setup an electronics lab, the cost of equipment such as an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, can quickly add up and become expensive. There are already some attempts at low cost measurement devices such as the $35 ExpEyes Junior or pocket size digital storage oscilloscopes (~$200), but those are far from the performance achieved with regular measurement devices. Red Pitaya measurement board brings the performance level and flexibility a bit higher, and stays relatively low cost at $359, with a Linux-based solution based on Xilinx Zynq dual Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC. Hardware Specifications: SoC – Xilinx Zynq Z7010 dual core Cortex A9 CPU + FPGA System Memory – 1GB DDR2 RAM Storage – microSD card slot (For system and FPGA images, and data) Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet USB – 2x micro USB ports (1 for power, 1 for console), and 1x USB 2.0 Host port Signals: 2x […]

WigWag Simplifies Home Automation, Provides Raspberry Pi and Arduino Shields

WigWag is an home automation kit aiming at simplifying home automation, yet allowing developers to roll their own system via Arduino and Raspberry Pi Shields. Wigwag is currently composed of three devices: WigWag Sensor Block – Universal sensor device with 8 environmental sensors (light, detect motion, sound, temperature, humidity, movement…), 4 control features (relay, IR blaster…), and 2 expansion ports. It can be powered by 4x AA batteries (possibly for up to 1 year), or a USB power adapter. This device runs Contiki OS on Freescale MC1322 MCU (with built-in 6LoWPAN radio). WigWag Relay – Connects WigWag and third party devices to their cloud service, allowing interaction with Internet services, such as email, Dropbox and Twitter. It acts a bit like a central server managing all your WigWag Sensor Blocks or other connected devices such as Phillips Hue light bulbs or Belkin WeMo outlets in your house. IP networks (Wi-Fi & Ethernet) […]

$79 Plug Makes Creating Your Own Cloud Easy

The “Plug” is a device with an Ethernet connection, and a USB port that allows you to connect up to 8 USB drives, and access those in a unified fashion from all your devices. It’s a bit like dropbox, except you are in charge, and the price per GB is much cheaper than cloud services. The Cloud Guys have launched a kickstarter campaign that has already received over $220,000 in pledges after just over two days. The Plug technical specifications are as follows: OpenWRT based Embedded Linux x86 compatible processor Port for your hard drive –  USB 2.0 Port for Internet – Ethernet port 10/100 Mbps Average transfer speed: 30 Mbps Supported file systems: NTFS, HFS+, Ext3/Ext4, FAT32 Number of drives supported (using an external USB hub): 8 LED Display: Power/ Action Dimensions – 270mm (W) x 110mm (D) x 20mm (H) (This must be wrong as it seems way […]

RISC-V laptop, mini PC