Computers users have many hardware options available to them: they can buy hard drives with greater amounts of storage capacity, low-energy monitors to cut down electric bills, and a wide variety of other goodies. With so many computer configurations available, why shouldn’t similar options exist for the many other types of high-tech toys? Well, if an option doesn’t exist, sometimes you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and build it yourself — with a little help, of course.
Professional and hobbyist developers interested in building their own gadgets for use with smart grids are the target audience of SuRF Developer’s Kit made by the People Power Company. Available at the end of April for $149.95 (though available for pre-order now), a SuRF kit comes with two boards, access to the Open Source Home Area Network (OSHAN) communications protocol and a bevy of development options.
What can be developed? Smart appliances that communicate wirelessly to the Internet or a web portal via OSHAN are one option. Additionally, “the kit is designed to support the development of the Internet of things, including energy monitors, thermostat sensors, security sensors, robotic toys, control devices for pools and spas,” according to ZDNet. SuRF technology supports ultra-low power consumption, so teeny tiny devices are as viable a possibility as larger appliances. Those of you itching to tinker with SuRF might want to surf on over to People Power’s SuRF competition page, where the current contest asks entrees to create the “coolest” wireless sensor.
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