With popular hardware prototyping platforms like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, “making” is often an aspiration and not about actually creating working, useful systems. These tools help people create a sense of identity as a “maker:” a type of person who is empowered to create with electronic objects, but who primarily make novelties or toys.
We are creating platforms that help people solve small-scale problems in their everyday lives. Here, gratification comes not from making something new and remarkable to show off to the world, but in making something unremarkable that nevertheless feels important to an individual or small community. When to water a particular plant, when hot coffee has reached a preferred temperature, or when the mail has been delivered, for example.
We aim for an ecosystem that reduces hardware engineering complexity for small-scale, ubiquitous problems like these. It allows novices to prototype solutions quickly and straightforwardly.
With Ian Bogost