Creating app for Smartphone are an easy proposition these days, but for the Internet of Things, app developers will also have to keep in mind the item that they are making the app for. The Dutch company Relayr has recently started a crowdfunding campaign on DragonInnovation.com to make a hardware kit which will make it easy to experiment with making apps for the Internet of Things.
How Does It Benefit App Developers?
The kit, called “WunderBar” (German for wonderful) is designed specifically for app developers who do not have the necessary hardware experience to make apps for the IoT on a trial-and-error basis before going on sale on the market.
WunderBar resembles an ordinary chocolate bar with one large WiFi enabled piece, which acts as the central hub for the six remaining smaller snap-off-able pieces. From these six pieces, three provide sensors to help monitor temperature, proximity, light, color, humidity, and movement. A fourth piece helps you to control your home entertainment system via an infra-red transmitter. The sensors the last two pieces will be contained will be determined by means of an online vote during the campaign. The initial candidates in this vote include noise, air pressure, EMF (Electromotive Force), and moisture sensors.
A Bit about the Features to Make Things Clearer
The main piece has an ARM Cortex ‘M’ microprocessor built-in which connects to the Internet through WiFi. The six smaller pieces communicate with the main piece through the use of Bluetooth Low Energy, which allows data to be sent from wherever they are placed in the environment back to Relayr’s Cloud platform where developers can then make use of it to make apps.
Relayr also intend to include software development kits for iOS, Android and Node.js, as well as tutorial software, demo apps and libraries to further help app developers. Relayr will also keep their hardware OpenSourced, thus making it easier for developers to make use of existing models.
WunderBar was earlier priced at $119 for its backers early on in its crowdfunding campaign. Now it costs $149. WunderBar’s ETA is stated on its DragonInnovation page as “Summer 2014.”
IoT Starter Kits – A Growing Trend!
WunderBar is not the first sensor kit for creating apps, in 2013 news broke through on BITalino, a similar kit aimed at developing medical devices and health tracking apps. However, BITalino is only for the health sector, whereas WunderBar is, as Relayr CPO and co-founder Jackson Bond puts it “…for play, experimentation and rapid prototyping.” We will talk about Starter kits in a subsequent posts and how they have helped shape up the IoT economy today. After all, in the next few years the IoT economy will be huge.