The SIKIO (SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for the IOIO Board)

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About two years ago, Nate (SparkFun’s CEO) asked me if I thought it would be possible to interface the IOIO board with Processing. The IOIO is a great microcontroller that allow really easy ways to talk to hardware through an Android application. Because it’s Java-based, and so is Processing, there was a possibility we could get people making Android apps without having to deal with Eclipse – which as anyone who uses Eclipse knows, the learning curve is rather steep.

Anyway, I gave it a shot, wrote a little tutorial on it, and I began working on a kit for the IOIO board at SparkFun, along with Jordan McConnell and Aaron Weiss. Little did any of us know that it would take this long. With such a large toolchain (Android, Processing, IOIO firmware, Google API’s) that wasn’t under our control, we were constantly having to rewrite code, update libraries, change documentation, and generally banging our heads against new problem after new problem. However, a few weeks ago, SparkFun finally released the SIKIO – the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for the IOIO board. This is really the first major product release I’ve been involved with, and I’m very proud of how it turned out. There are seven experiments, ranging from controlling LEDs to reading input from light sensors, to taking a picture from your camera using a separate button. Our designer Pete Holm did an awesome job with the instruction booklet, and the packaging looks amazing. If you’re interested in an easier way to write hardware-based Android apps, check it out. I’d love to hear any feedback.

All photos courtesy of SparkFun Electronics and licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0