We're Springing Forward and Growing Fast

April/08/13

Hello again. We’ve been incredibly busy little imps around here, so it’s time to catch you up on what’s been happening lately in Electric Imp Land.

The Imp Team Expands

Spring is here and, like the world around us, Electric Imp is sprouting and growing fast. We have welcomed a number of super talented people to our team recently, and you can meet the newest team members at the bottom of this update.

We have many more open roles at Electric Imp so check ‘em out and let us know if you would like to be a part of our mischievous culture.

Devs Rule!

In February, we held our first-ever internal hackathon - an all night affair (well, for a few of us who managed to hold out that long) that resulted in some fun and very cool imp-enabled devices. Kevin made an imp-powered glove that literally puts global control at your fingertips. Brandon constructed an in-desk mounted wireless printer for anything from to-do lists and receipts to physical tweets or a live stock ticker. Everyone worked on something, and we’ll be sharing little videos of the results soon. To get a taste, check out Tom Buttner’s commuting traffic light:

And creativity abounds! Amazing imp-enabled devices have also been springing up like, uh, little imps, in ever growing numbers from lots of clever folks in dev community. We’re truly impressed with all the great devices we’re seeing so far, so take a look when you get a chance.

Lose Your Keys Now. Ask Us How.

Just in case you missed it, we recently announced that Apigy chose Electric Imp to provide easy set up and Internet connectivity to Lockitron, a smartphone controlled door lock and control device for the home. We’re particularly excited about this integration because it is a great example of how Electric Imp empowers product developers and manufacturers to quickly and reliably bring their Internet-connected ideas to market.

Hannah Boards Are Back!

In addition to making the imp, our hardware team is always busy creating reference designs for imp-powered devices. Because these reference designs are open source we invite manufacturers to use them as a base for their own designs, or to produce them as-is if they like. Sparkfun’s Electric Imp Breakout Board is a revision to our original April prototyping board, and we’re very happy to announce that SmartMaker has used the open source reference designs we provide (including Altium and Gerber files) to build a new production run of our Hannah 'kitchen sink’ hobbyist board.

Stuffed to the gills with sensors and controls, Hannah is perfect for the developer or hobbyist who cares more about coding than soldering, and wants to get their device up and running as quickly as possible. Hannahs are available for pre-order now at the SmartMaker web store.

Meet Us at Cal and Stanford This Week!

We’re excited to be showcased at a couple Bay Area meetups this week, each of which will give folks an opportunity for some hands-on time with the imp. Both events are free and open to the public, so swing by and say hello to the Electric Imp team. We’d love to meet you.

On Tuesday, April 9, join us at the Electric Imp Workshop, sponsored by the UC Berkeley community group Hackers at Berkeley, and build an imp device. The event takes place at Cal’s Wozniak Lounge in Soda Hall, starting at 7 p.m.

We’ll also be at Stanford University’s Cool Product Expo, held on campus at the Arrillaga Alumni Center from 12 - 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10.

New Electric Imp Team Members

Over the past several months we’ve added a bunch of new people to the team. Here are their stories:

Bill Podrasky, EVP, Global Sales and Business Development, is a 20 year veteran of business development and sales, with a particular expertise in successfully managing early stage companies as they grow. His vision, a common one around here, is for Electric Imp to become the connectivity standard for the Internet of Things. Bill’s hope and dream is to see water meters “impified,” so that consumers and businesses can be alerted to potential wasteful use or leakage. Water is our most valuable resource.

Peter Keyashian, Director of Sales, spent the last eight years working with a variety of tech companies to integrate new technologies into their products, which was great preparation for his role of fostering adoption of the imp in the broader marketplace. He saw the chance to join Electric Imp as a rare opportunity “to be part of a team that is bound to impact the world in such an amazing way.” Peter’s ideal impified product would sync the schedule of an autonomous vacuum to the seasonal shedding of his dog Bosco as the weather warms up, then send him reports about how much fur it has collected at the end of each cleaning session.

Mayumi Matsuno, Product Management, Product Marketing and Communications, is a former Googler and Mozillian, whose passion is bringing products to life and into the hands of users. She’s really interested to see how her interest in biomimicry could be coupled with Electric Imp, perhaps chameleon meets LED lights meets electric imp. That we can’t wait to see! At our recent hack-a-thon, Mayumi “rode on the coattails” of colleague Tom Buttner’s freeway traffic monitoring light and got her first experience in the lab with the soldering station, and now she’s hooked.

Rich Schiavi, Software Engineer, has a software career spanning two decades at Silicon Valley pioneers Sun Microsystems and Yahoo!, as well as Rocket Network and Beats By Dre. Rich’s desire to work at Electric Imp was fueled by “its winning combination of an incredible founding team, staff, and the opportunity to help pioneer a world-changing product in an emerging space.” His ideal application for the imp would span across the wide range of devices that can help us save and use water and electricity resources more efficiently throughout the world.

David Dunn, Software Engineer, has been deeply involved in software as an academic researcher throughout his career. In addition to his role at Electric Imp, he is currently a mentor in TDD and other software best practices, something he hopes to continue as we grow the team in Cambridge. He was excited to join Electric Imp because of the company’s vision, smart team members, and the opportunity to contribute to the most cutting edge developments in the Internet of Things. At Electric Imp’s recent hackathon, David creatively engineered the first audio playback out of an imp by posting a .wav file to an agent, streaming it to the imp, and using the fixed frequency DAC to drive a mono output jack to a PC speaker. Unfortunately, he missed the chance to make Rick Astley’s infamous song “Never Gonna Give You Up” the first audio an imp ever played, but he’s in meme therapy now.

Tom Buttner, Systems Engineer, started building and programming embedded devices with the C8051 microprocessor while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He got the bug, moved West, and joined Electric Imp after spending a year building diagnostic software for Cisco security appliances. When Tom discovered the imp, he was astonished that there was such an easy way to build devices, much less connected ones, and couldn’t wait to get his hands on as many as possible. Tom is looking forward to his soon-to-be imp-enabled vegetable garden being able to call him up and ask for a drink or some more sun.


So that’s it for now, but stay tuned for our next update. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Maker Faire Bay Area, May 18 - 19. We hope to see you there!