A new startup, called Electric Imp, comprising an iPhone engineer, a Gmail designer and a firmware engineer is hoping to turn almost any device into a connected device using a slot-in card.
The Imp card is the size and shape of a conventional SD card but contains an ARM Cortex M3 SoC (system on chip) CPU with WiFi connectivity. While it may look like an SD card it only makes use of the connector and needs to be inserted into a compatible board to get to work.
The idea is to turn unconnected appliances or devices into connected ones by adding remote functionality where there was none before. One of the possible uses the creators of the Imp have outlined is allowing a washing machine to send a text message to its owner when a load of washing is done but there are a myriad of applications that could be implemented.
The Imp is expected to ship next month for $25 and includes three developer boards. It won’t be ready to get your toaster tweeting on your behalf for a while but once developers get hold of it, it is only a matter of time.