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Software Out, Hardware Start-Ups In

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#1
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100716901?__...yahoo&doc=100716901|Forget Software, Hardware

Software companies are so last decade. Instead, venture capitalists are looking to hardware companies for investment opportunities and the next big wave of innovation.

Investors and entrepreneurs avoided hardware for years because the space was just too risky, but that's changing.
Google "Arduino", an open source hardware/sorftware processor/controller, that can take inputs from all sorts of sensors, and send outputs in response.
 

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#2

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#3
What aquinus said. PIC and AVR has been around for ages as well as others. And if you're properly serious you'll build everything with logic circuits. :)

Arduino is great though, it makes everything easier, and I think the best thing it has done is making a bit of a splash, so homemade electronics is more popular now.
 
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#4
Arduino is great though, it makes everything easier, and I think the best thing it has done is making a bit of a splash, so homemade electronics is more popular now.
Exactly, more and more add on boards making inifinte possibilities. Though someone still has to write code, that part is more of a commodity now.
 

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#5
Exactly, more and more add on boards making inifinte possibilities. Though someone still has to write code, that part is more of a commodity now.
The possibilities are more or less the same, but it's easier. Which is worth a lot.
 
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#6
The possibilities are more or less the same,
Applications are endless. How many apps are out there built on just the various sensors in a smartphone? Millions and counting. Arduino (and that was just an example btw), has so many more. PH sensors, temp, humidity, pressure, force, voltage, relay control... on and on.

Take the plug in sensors and build what you want. The innovating part is now the challenge.

Again, arduino is just an example, "Hive" is an example of a production product, using new affordable and available off-the-shelf components and technology, and it's done pretty well.
 

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#7
The point is that micro-controllers are doing just as much now as they were 10 years ago, and they existed at least 10 years before that. This isn't new technology and it's used left and right in manufacturing.

The possibilities might be endless but they were endless 10 years ago as well. :)

Also there is no "software out" bit. Micro-controllers run software too. Any microprocessor does.
 
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#8
The point is that micro-controllers are doing just as much now as they were 10 years ago, and they existed at least 10 years before that. This isn't new technology and it's used left and right in manufacturing.
The technology has improved, shrunk and there has been a continual dive in production costs for all those parts. Today, a gyro sensor module can be had for $7. http://www.dhgate.com/f04878-mpu-60...-ff8080813db512ef013dedee50277533.html#s1-1-1 10 years ago could you even find one for under $100? Not likely.

No, software development isn't going away, the point of the article is that hardware innovation is increasing and gaining popularity. Watching pixels on the screen is one thing, but making a physical result is another. 3D printers you can buy at Staples for $1300? Yep, it's true: http://www.zdnet.com/cube-3d-printer-goes-retail-at-staples-for-1299-7000014876/
 

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#9
he point of the article is that hardware innovation is increasing and gaining popularity.
Whish is what we are saying. It's cheaper and simpler, but the possibilites in themselves have not changed.
 
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#10
It's all kind of software because you design hardware by coding in VHDL :D
 
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#11
but the possibilites in themselves have not changed.
Access and affordability haven't changed possibilities? Wrong.
 

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#12
Access and affordability haven't changed possibilities? Wrong.
No, I think it's just as afordable now as it used to be. The difference is that you're seeing more SoC solutions. In the past microcontrollers weren't always SoCs. In fact you could buy a Motorola 68k DIP and add your own memory. You could create a memory controller that it interfaces with instead, you could wire up 10 of them together. The possibilities were just as big, but you had to do it yourself.

What exists now are platforms that provide instant gratification by a high level interface to interact with low level components where traditionally if you wanted to interact with components at that low of a level you were writing assembly or C. Now you can get a RaspberryPi and interface with GPIO using languages like Ruby or Python.

For learning, this is great, but in real life you still want a micro-controller to run in almost real-time and the best way to do that is write efficient code that executes quickly and doesn't take up much space, which is why C and Assembly are used. Also a lot of micro-controllers aren't as fast as the Raspberry Pi or have nearly as much memory (the Pi is more of a pseudo-microcontroller, it's more like a PC than anything else.)

The last time I programmed a micro-controller it was a HCS12 chip on a Dragon12-Plus board with 4k ram and a 48Mhz (tops, default is 24Mhz,) processor and you quickly learn what limits really are on real micro-controllers.

Also from a business perspective, you want to spend as little on everything. You don't want a micro-controller that does more than you need because it costs more money to do so.
 
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#13
No, I think it's just as afordable now as it used to be.

Don't agree. Find a micro PH or gyro sensor board (not sensor or chip itself) from 10 years ago that costs the same, or even less than 10x of what it costs now.

And they've gotten better.
 

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#14
Don't agree. Find a micro PH or gyro sensor board (not sensor or chip itself) from 10 years ago that costs the same, or even less than 10x of what it costs now.
Yeah, and what component do you think had the highest cost on the board? I'm willing to bet you it's the sensor itself and not the circuitry to control it. The circuitry to control it just uses less power, makes less heat, and has been shoved into a smaller package, performance aside. If anything costs less, it's because the circuitry is being made in bulk because of advancements in manufacturing, but the controllers themselves have changed very little in the last 10 years.
 
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#15
If anything costs less, it's because the circuitry is being made in bulk because of advancements in manufacturing, but the controllers themselves have changed very little in the last 10 years.
Let's continue to overstate the obvious.

Some arduino projects... some rediculous, some pretty cool. Not even practical or affordable to do anything like these 10 years ago: http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Projects/

Easy build self balancing electric skateboard:


Turn signal biking jacket :laugh:
 

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#16
Easy build self balancing electric skateboard:
And again you point out what it is. You could have made that 10 years ago as well, but it would have taken more skill. It feels like we are talking about different things. I (and Aquinus) mean technical possibilities, what you actually can do. It feels like you mean things people actually do with them. It is cheaper and easier, but you can't really do more (unless someone makes entirely new stuff, but I'm not sure if that has happened in the past couple of years).

BTW, shouldn't this be in Electronics? :)
 
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#17
And again you point out what it is. You could have made that 10 years ago as well, but it would have taken more skill. It feels like we are talking about different things. I (and Aquinus) mean technical possibilities, what you actually can do. It feels like you mean things people actually do with them. It is cheaper and easier, but you can't really do more (unless someone makes entirely new stuff, but I'm not sure if that has happened in the past couple of years).

BTW, shouldn't this be in Electronics? :)
It is easier, cheaper and more is possible as such. The parts have become the commodity, the innovation is putting those parts to use... again a point of the article.

Anywhere is within walking distance if you have the time, don't you agree? :rolleyes: