Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Calling all Hardware Makers!

We're ramping up our Kickstarter campaign and have started posting screenshots of the newest versions of the editor..  We're promoting a new Kickstarter reward to allow makers of Arduino compatible hardware to be some of the first to have their hardware featured and tightly integrated in the Modkit Editor.  Here you can see some screenshots of a Sparkfun Danger Shield although we're actually working on integrating a completely new board with them which should be coming very soon..

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Help Kickstart Modkit!

Edit (June 19, 2011): Our Kickstarter campaign is long over (it was a great success),  so we've started the Modkit Alpha Club to continue to offer rewards to Modkit's supporters.  If you'd like to support and get early access to all of the alpha features, consider joining the Alpha Club today.

I posted Modkit on Kickstarter.com to help raise some funds for continued development and to move the Modkit Crimp Cards from prototype to product..

I really like the idea of Kickstarter as as way to engage with people who want to support projects..  I think it will be a good way to gauge demand for projects in general and I am excited to see if we can get enough support for Modkit to reach our $5000 goal by the end of the month.. The fact that funding is all-or-nothing means that those interested in claiming thier rewards should be motivated to get the word out to others..  Let's see how engaged our audience can become..

Among other rewards, donors for the Modkit Kickstarter campaign can get Modkit invites, early access to new software, and limited edition Crimp Cards (We have something really cool planned)..

At Kickstarter, every dollar counts, so help us by pledging as little as $1 and by helping us spread the word!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fab6: Industrial [r]Evolution

I just got back from the 6th (almost) annual FabLab conference in Amsterdam and other sites throughout the Netherlands..   The FabLabs in general, and running the Boston FabLab, have been a big source of the inspiration and ideas behind Modkit, so it was great to be able to attend the conference and share our work with the growing network of labs..

It was also great to catch up with old friends and make new ones..  I was especially impressed with the growing network within the Netherlands as well as the individual labs I visited..  The picture above (photo by Matt Cottam)  is from one of the short Modkit demos I ran, going over the visual editor as well as the Modkit Crimp Cards and Modkit MotoProto Shield (coming soon from Sparkfun.com)..  Can't wait until Fab7 next year!

A Modkit Year

It's been over a year since I've updated this blog.. It's not that Modkit is dead. Quite the contrary, I've (or should I say we've - more below) been very busy simply implementing things, testing with early users, and traveling to get the word out and build collaborations and partnerships..

Here's a quick year in review to give you an idea what's been happening with Modkit:

Last Fall, I headed out to the Mini-Maker Faire in Providence Rhode Island put on by Brian Jepson and Kipp Bradford (We're actually heading out to the second annual RI Maker Faire later this afternoon). After meeting and being impressed by designer Collin Reisdorf at the Boston Fab Lab, I brought him on as a consultant to add some UI features to the editor.. We ended up reimplementing the whole Modkit front-end and Collin officially joined the Modkit team later in the spring.. Here's the updated look of the interface:

With the new interface settling, we started bringing on outside Alpha testers in the winter.. Later in the spring, we attended the Cambridge Mini-Maker Faire as part of the Cambridge(MA) Science Festival and then headed out to the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA.. Here's Collin talking to some Maker Faire attendees in CA:

Almost as a joke, we decided to make little business cards with room for electronic sensors and actuators that could highlight how easy it was to use the Modkit editor with an Arduino compatible board to create some interactions. That joke caught on and turned into the Modkit Crimp Cards which provide a fun and intuitive way to connect external components without needing to solder or learn about breadboards:

Well that's the condensed version of a Modkit Year! There were other highlights and happenings such as Sketching in Hardware 10 in LA, Ed being accepted into Leah Beuchley's High-Low Tech group at the MIT Media Lab, and the Fab6 conference in the Netherlands (just got back so I'll do another post).. Of course there's a lot more in the works and soon to come!