Even seasoned engineers feel the pain of sourcing components, prototyping and fixing buggy code. So newbie makers are pretty much doomed from the word go. There are educational kits out there but to-be-honest they’re not meant for serious projects. But some lads hidden away in East London have been secretly working on something which I expect will become the first port of call for any pro or rookie engineer. Meet SAM – a raft of sensors and outputs connected via bluetooth and wrapped up in a gorgeous circuit designer.
This is what The Internet of Things is all about. Each module is equipped with low energy bluetooth (the kind you get in smartwatches, mobile phones etc) and can communicate with each other to create complex circuits.
At the core is a computer the network is controlled by and where the circuits are designed. The simple drag and drop interface makes everything excruciatingly simple. A working circuit can be up and running within seconds. Forget compiling.
Each module is impressive in it’s own right. They’re a compact unit and chargeable via Micro USB. The battery life can last days depending on the type. A fan could run continuously for hours whereas a sensor could last for days.
Quite rightly the team decided that any kind of lag would ruin the experience, so they cranked up the speeds and the result is lightning fast. So fast they might as well be connected via wires.
We can expect 15 different modules. Sensing things like touch, distance, light, sound, pressure and outputting light, sound and movement.
I’m told that a wifi module is on the way which would nullify the computer and make the whole circuit completely independent.
From the hardware to the software this kit is flawless.
The team are off to New York next week to present SAM at Maker Faire so do check them out if you’re there.