I’ve got my share of Arduino and Netduino devices that I’ve always planned on integrating somehow in my home automation projects, but never really got around to doing so because there really wasn’t any good way to integrate them with my Insteon-automated home.
Now there’s a new device coming out that’s already blown the lid off its Kickstarter campaign, and is shipping in the next week or two: the Spark Core from Spark Devices:
This thing is going to be perfect for one project in particular that I’ll be writing about over the summer (automating my blinds), for a couple of reasons:
- It has WIFI. Originally I was planning on using an Arduino coupled with an Insteon IOLinc to receive input and output from my Insteon network, but this bad boy has Wifi, so I’ll be able to send signals to it via the Network Module on the ISY994i.
- It’s TINY. Smaller than the “standard” Arduino (although, to be fair, it looks to be about the same size as the Arduino Micro), this will fit in all kinds of small spaces, such as a single gang electric box.
- It has a ton of input and output pins. This single device has 8 analog and 8 digital input/output pins, allowing control of multiple things, such as the open/close state of several sets of window blinds.
- It’s got a revolutionary way to program it. No longer needing to be tethered to a computer (especially nice when it’s installed behind a wall switch or within the housing of window blinds), it leverages the Spark Cloud and iOS/Android Apps for out-of-the-box reading/writing to the device – and it’s fully compatible with Arduino code for a lower learning curve with the same existing flexibility and power.
So, yeah, I’m pretty excited about this thing. The rest of the hardware is all ready to go – stay tuned for additional posts on this project once the device ships!