Struggling to get to grips with Internet of Things projects? Finding Arduino and Raspberry Pi too unfocused? The answer is surely a dedicated SBC that is designed purely for IoT applications.
That is exactly what the team behind obniz (pronounced ‘obnize’) intend, along with a few smart and wearable applications. Described as a ‘Cloud Connected Development Board’, this former Kickstarter project raised ¥1,673,850 of a ¥1,500,000 goal (around $16,000) when it was launched in 2017.
Now available to order, example projects demonstrated on the obniz homepage include a smartphone-controlled robot (using the accelerometer), a face-following fan, and a servo-controlled flag that alerts you when new tweets appear.
Employing UART technology to communicate wirelessly between devices, motors, servos, sensors, and more can be connected directly to the obniz via 12 I/O connectors. The device also boasts a built-in OLED display, which is crucial for checking device status, as well as getting started.
Setup is straightforward: connect obniz to your Wi-Fi, connect a motor to the board, then use your smartphone to scan a QR code on the 128 x 64 pixel display to open the program page. From here, commands will be sent to the obniz via your mobile device browser.
Here’s a look at just how simple the setup process is.
As impressive as this little board is, however, the real magic comes with the obniz cloud. Here, web service APIs can be connected to the device and linked to the appropriate HTML and Node.js scripts. The end result is a device that lets you remotely control devices around your home with servos, sensors, and more.
Featuring Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth LE, 12 I/O pins (1A drive and switchable 5V/3V on each), the obniz has AD/UART/SPI/I2C compatibility at each pin, offering a huge range of modular sensor connectivity.
Better still, obniz is ideal for children to get started, and features a block programming interface for careful building of basic programming.
Like an ultra-simple Arduino with built-in wireless connectivity and an OLED display, the obniz is available to order via the website at obniz.io, retailing at around $60. If you’ve been waiting for the next awesome hobbyist board with a focus on IoT and smart applications, this might just be it.