Arduino is one of the easiest platforms to get started building hardware, but since it’s creation the method of operation has remained unchanged – plug it into your Mac or PC to develop, then only when it is totally finished, build it into your project.
The Punch Through team is aiming to change that with their BLE enabled LightBlue Cortado, which allows you to develop Arduino applications wirelessly from nearly any platform (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows). To illustrate this fact, they claim that you’ll be able to use it right away upon delivery – without even opening the box. They even go a step further and say that if you download their iPhone App now, you will get a notification when it is being delivered to your door, making use of Apple’s support of Bluetooth LE.
Earlier this year Apple announced a couple new iOS7 features focused around Bluetooth Low Energy- iBeacon and Notifications. Cortado can operate as an iBeacon, says the team, allowing users to experiment with Apple’s newest offering. The Apple Notification Center Service or ANCS for short, will allow connected devices to receive any notification your phone gets, should you allow it to do so.
The Cortado has everything you’d expect, a Bluetooth LE module, Atmel microcontroller, 8 I/Os with (2 optional analog inputs), plus some things you might not: an RGB LED and 3 axis accelerometer. The BLE module is actually another product being sold by Punch Through, which has already received FCC certification. IC and CE are expected before the Cortados ship.
They show a smattering of example projects on their launch site, you’ll be happy to know your mario kart drinking games will now have enforced rules.
To incentivize early adopters, they will offer a huge 40% discount on the first day, and then reduce that discount throughout the month of their pre-sales. Additionally if you buy a 4 pack they throw in a maker-kit for free (which includes some typical sensors, buttons, headers, etc). Or if you like the concept but aren’t a techie, there is an option to donate Cortados to The Bakken, an organization focused on teaching science and engineering to children through a hands-on learning approach.
A team of 7, Punch Through is located in San Francisco and has been the technical force behind a variety of connected devices. Let’s hope their experience results in a successful launch.
The Cortado is available for pre-order now for$18 and will increase every day as the month goes on reaching a maximum of $24, which is discounted 20% from the retail price ($30). Check out the official website for more info.