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Electric Imp

Electric Imp
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Price (including VAT): £25.00
Availability: In Stock
Model: Electric Imp
Manufacturer: Electric Imp
Average Rating: Not Rated

The Electric Imp is a WiFi enabled development platform powered by a Cortex-M3 processor core. It offers a complete solution for connecting any device with an electronic input or output to the internet with the minimum of fuss. The Imp has the form-factor of an SD card but does NOT operate in standard SD slots. Instead it should be inserted into Electric Imp "breakout" boards to interface with your prototype devices. To build a prototype project with the Electric Imp you will also need an "April" breakout or shield board. Building your Imp project will require some electronics and programming skills, but nothing too daunting.

The "internet of things" made easy

In essence, the Imp provides an easy, integrated way to connect any electronic device to internet services and/or other imp-enabled devices. It's more than just a WiFi card, or even a WiFi module with processing built in - it's an integrated platform that deals with the drudgery of connectivity, allowing you to concentrate on the application instead of the mechanics.

Cloud-based development environment

Blinkup app screenshot

It does this by integrating an 802.11b/g/n WiFi transceiver, a great antenna, a Cortex-M3 core and lots of flexible I/O in a tiny package. But the hardware is only part of what makes the Electric Imp an innovative platform. The development environment and workflow is totally cloud-based, i.e. programming is carried out in your browser.

Blinkup - connectivity configured in seconds

Your WiFi network credentials are transmitted to the Imp optically from a free smart-phone app (iOS or Android), using a quick and innovative method called blinkup. An available network is selected on the app, any encryption passkey entered and then these details can be transferred by placing your phone in close proximity to the Imp. The Imp will remember the most recent WiFi connection.

When the Imp is inserted into a breakout board or device any code specifically written for that board or device is uploaded automatically to and launched on the Imp.

Features

  • Super Small Form Factor
  • WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption
  • Cortex-M3 core gives great performance combined with low power consumption
  • 6 I/O - UARTs, I2C, SPI, analog in and out, PWMs, GPIOs... all selectable under software control
  • No SDK to install, no JTAG pods, no long download times... you develop your code in a browser-based IDE
  • Software that runs on the Imp is written in Squirrel, a C-like language
  • Data passes to and from the service over a TLS encrypted interface

The software development is written in a language called "Squirrel," which is a C-like language with extensions to communicate with the hardware interfaces and the service. Thanks to cloud-power, you get many big system benefits like buffered I/O and crash recovery - plus you can push updates to devices in the field with a few clicks. There's even a Planner tool that makes it easy to design interactivity between your Imps.

The Internet of Things has been talked about for many years, but even though communications technologies grow ever cheaper and more efficient, there are still only a handful of internet connected devices. Those that do exist are expensive and offer limited benefits for the user.

The advantages of having devices connected intelligently are huge. Resources can be saved by controlling devices appropriately (taking into account environmental conditions, occupancy, and so on). Security and safety can also be improved, and information can flow to and from the device using the full breadth of internet services, opening up possibilities for support services and remote diagnoses as well as useful and timely notifications.

Mashable size up the Imp

So what are people doing with their Imps?

The Electric Imp forum is a great place to discover the wide variety of projects currently being built with the Imp. Examples include...

External reference sites

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Electric Imp
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Electric Imp
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Electric Imp
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Electric Imp
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Electric Imp
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