More about Electric Imp
The Electric Imp platform makes it easy to quickly add Wi-Fi to your devices. Starting with the hardware, the Imp is a powerful Wi-Fi connected processor that's integrated with the Imp Cloud, handling the complexity of providing secure, reliable and seamless connectivity.
With the Imp OS and API, you can easily customize your hardware and scale your services. Users need only build firmware to run within the Imp, which deals with local processing and the interface to your product, and software that runs in the Imp cloud deals with connecting and interfacing your device with almost any web service, server or smartphone app. The software can also be used to buffer data in the cloud, in many cases allowing full-featured applications to be built without needing to run your own server backend. Additionally, the imp services provide monitoring and allow easy updates of devices already in the field.
Development takes place in a web-based IDE, allowing you to write and debug your code (including seeing errors and logging) even on remote or inaccessible devices. After shipping, you can push new builds to devices in the field as necessary, allowing you to fix bugs and add features at any time.
With Electric Imp, you also give your users the simplest Wi-Fi setup experience by incorporating BlinkUp into your app. BlinkUp is their patent-pending solution for setting up Imps using nothing but the screen of their smartphone and the light sensor built into the device. iOS and Android libraries are available upon request.
Electric Imp's Story
Early in 2011, Hugo was having his bathroom remodeled and took the opportunity to add a strip of RGB lights under the bathroom cabinet. His plan was to hook them up to Wi-Fi so they could show all sorts of ambient information - the hourly weather forecast, calendar for today, share prices and so on, all indicated with color changes along the strip that could be seen at a glance.
This turned out to be a rather bigger project than he had first imagined, and after days of getting frustrated with the tools available, he decided that there really ought to be a better way to do this sort of thing. Besides the fact that it was pretty tough for any hobbyist to make a useful networked device, the same issues were facing commercial vendors. Those vendors that had ventured into the field usually ended up reinventing the wheel at great expense. In additon, the products were expensive and often communicated to nothing more than a smartphone app.
What was needed, he mused, was to take the best implementations of hardware, firmware and cloud service, build them into a single mass-produced product, and apply them to any device in the world.
...and that is what they are doing.
Why “Electric Imp”?
Back in the late 1960’s, ARPANET - the precursor to the modern internet - was being built. None of the computers that needed to be connected spoke the newly invented networking protocols and hence they each used a standalone machine called an Interface Message Processor, or IMP, to talk to the world.
They see their mission in much the same way; our imp connects your devices to the world.