Wait… what the hell does that mean?
Well, for starters, Google has decided to base this dev kit on the popular, and open source, Arduino platform. Apart from the fact that I am quite fond of the-little-microcontroller-that-could, this is great news because it has potential to open the floodgates of innovation in regards to how we use our mobile devices. Here is another view on why Google’s decision to use the Arduino matters.
Although the “official” dev kit costs ~$400US, you can get away with spending much less using standard Arduino hardware and a USB host shield (examples:   ). Essentially, you are making a USB host (your gadget) that can communicate to a USB device (your phone). You can now think of your phone as an input/output device for your gadget…
“Now that I’ve got all this fancy hardware built, I’m going to have to spend some time developing an app for my device!” Well, not necessarily… A reader over at Make magazine submitted a project that allows you to program the user interface from within the Arduino sketch. Pretty neat!
Needless to say, I have ordered myself an Arduino Mega and a USB host shield. I’ve already received my Mega, and, with any luck, I will be receiving the USB host shield tomorrow. Can’t wait to get going!
Update: Got the shield today! Time to solder!