The burgeoning Internet of Things industry will undoubtedly mean lots of things to lots of different people and lots of different industries. Making sure they aren't left out of all the fun are the DIYers among us.
LittleBits Electronics is a three-year-old start-up that essentially allows the more tech-geeky DIYers to create their own electronic devices. With the IoT phenomenon ready for take-off, the company is ready to offer its legions of DIYers the ability to connect the devices they create through littleBits to the Internet -- an Internet of Thingies, if you will.
Since its launch in 2012, littleBits has created a library of hardware modules that enable users to quickly create their own gadgets and systems that don't require higher levels of programming and the like.
The product at the heart of this interesting connection initiative for littleBits is called cloudBit. It's referred to as a Cloud Starter Bundle the company is offering that comes with six of its electronic modules, what they call an insert card with five tutorials and also two additional accessories that are used to connect the created devices to the Internet.
These electronic modules actually snap together using magnets so there is no soldering of parts and, more important, no complicated programming, either.
CloudBit "means the Internet of Things is now open and accessible, enabling anyone to prototype, test ideas, and participate in a field that could change the world and how we live," explained Colin Vernon, head of cloud platform at littleBits, on the company blog. "People can recreate popular connected devices (like a smart thermostat), invent their own, or build solutions to their unique needs. Our mission is to put the power of electronics in the hands of everyone, from the simplest circuits to powerful Internet-connected devices."
"Until now, building for the Internet of Things has been reserved for large companies and experts, limiting the power of what's possible and the rate of innovation," said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits. "With the cloudBit, we're doing for connected devices what Android did for mobile -- making an open, accessible and instantaneous platform. People can now re-create the most popular connected devices, prototype the next billion-dollar idea, or solve their own unique problem."
LittleBits is currently offering cloudBit for $59, while the entire Cloud Starter Bundle is selling for $99.
With regard to the potential enormous size of the IoT market, a recent report from IB Intelligence claims there are already some 1.9 billion devices in place and that number will grow to over 9 billion by 2018. The report adds this number will eclipse the total number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable devices and PCs combined.