SAN MATEO, Calif. – Massimo Banzi launched a $69 board that aims to plug do-it-yourself-ers into the cloud. The Yun is the first of a family of low cost, low power Arduino cards that run Linux and Wi-Fi, surfing the trend toward the Internet of Things.
Yun, named for the Chinese word for cloud, aims to let the average tinkerer link a new Linux gadget to the Web using a simplified browser interface. “We want to make it easy for people to create complex Web apps,” Banzi told a packed crowd at the center stage of the Maker Faire event here.
Yun links to the Web via the Hornet AR9331 Wi-Fi chip from Qualcomm Atheros which supports 2.4 GHz networking and runs a custom distribution of Linux, said Federico Musto who had the idea for the board and did the initial design work. Musto shared his idea with Banzi when the two met by accident on a train in December.
The two now have five products and two separate product families on the Yun road map, including some boards designed to run up to four years on two AA batteries. The first product will be available starting in June.
The board supports client software from Temboo (New York), which includes a library of more than 100 APIs for easing connections to popular Web services including Facebook, Twitter and OAuth. “These technologies have been hard for people to figure out,” said Banzi.
Musto showed a Qualcomm Atheros representative at the Consumer Electronics Show in January an early version of the board based on a reverse engineered smartphone module using the AR9331. A technical director of the company subsequently gave approval to supply the chip for the open source boards.
Banzi (in white) launched Yun to a standing-room only crowd at the Maker Faire center stage.