Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 10, 2015
Kits aimed at novice hardware enthusiasts are becoming increasingly popular. They aim to make "hardware hacking" really simple and easy, because up until recently experimenting and building connected devices has involved a soldering iron and a lot of technical knowledge. Examples of kits that are available to purchase include SAM, Bitalino, LittleBits, and Wunderbar (for a more extensive list of kits and component suppliers check out our directory). This week another IOT kit, called MESH, has appeared on Indiegogo.
MESH was created by Takehiro Hagiwara and Shingo Yoshizumi, and a small team of passionate engineers at Sony's seed acceleration program. The kit looks very similar to what's already available, but as you'd expect with the backing of a multi-national such as Sony, it does look more polished. The kit consists of three devices that look a bit like brightly coloured dominos. Each "block" functions in a different way. The green block is a button, the orange block is an LED, the blue block is a movement detector, and the grey one is a General-purpose input/output (GPIO). The team are, however, planning to add many more types of "tags" such as Thermo-hygrometer, IR Receiver/Transmitter, Light and UV Sensor, CO2 Sensor, Motion Sensor, DC Motor, Vibrator etc. in the future.
Each block or tag is able to communicate wirelessly, and the kit comes with the "MESH Canvas app", which enables the user to add functionality by drawing lines between each tag. In addition to making money from selling kits, the team are also clearly aiming to build a community around the MESH. According to their Indiegogo campaign, users will be able to share their inventions online with other MESH users.
You can pre-order your own kit, but the Advanced Sets are already sold out. The early bird deal for a standard kit is, however still available, costing $105 (£70) each, RRP will be $119 (£80). The estimated shipping date is May 2015.
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