Everything is getting high-tech — from phones to jewelry. It will not be surprising if, soon enough, we will see high-tech clothes. With the Internet opening tremendous opportunities, people are not shying away from utilizing them to create innovative and unprecedented things. In fact, a whole new category called “Internet of Things” has emerged, where objects are provided with unique identifiers that help them transfer data over a network without the need of a computer.
In an attempt to bring Internet of Things closer to people, a tiny board called Spark Core has come into the market.
The Spark Core with Chip Antenna is a very small WiFi development board that makes it very easy for everyone to create hardware that is connected to the Internet. In fact, the tiny chip is all you will need. Just power it up with the help of a USB connection or a battery, and you will be able to control LEDs, motors, and switches in addition to being able to collect data from its various sensors over the internet.
This core has an on-board controller that is actually a small, low-cost, and low-power computer that has the capability of running a single application. This micro-controller is the one that runs the show. In fact, it runs your software and tells the rest of the core what to do. This tiny little thing does not have an operating system like your computer and just runs a single application (that is also known as firmware or an embedded application). This application can very simple — made up of only a few lines of code — or extremely complex, depending on what you want to do with it.
The first and foremost goal of Spark’s creation is its ease of use. In fact, you can start off without any experience in using hardware or software.
If you are familiar with Arduino, you will love this chip. The core uses the same wiring and programming language as Arduino. It also has an accessory called Shield that helps you connect it to any standard Arduino shield.
The hardware design files — board design, schematic, and bill of materials — are open source as is the firmware. This makes it very user-friendly.
For more information check out their website.