Industry News

Company Connects Your Toaster, Blender to the Internet for $25

Total connectivity with household appliances is a goal that only the tech-savvy or the inhabitants of futuristic houses have managed to achieve so far, but start-up Electric Imp promises to deliver it to the masses for about $25 per device.

Founded by former iPhone engineering manager Hugo Fiennes, ex-Gmail designer Kevin Fox, and firmware designer Peter Hartley, the startup aims at bringing Internet connectivity to all appliances so their owner can manage them online.

Before controlling them from remote, these devices need connectivity. That’s where the Imp Card kicks in: they are full-fledged Wi-Fi modules the size of a SD card that can communicate with your router or access point and take the device online.  All the connected gadgets can be remotely controlled using a mobile application.

That is just half of the process. The Imp Card can only be used in household appliances that come equipped with an Imp microcontroller board. Electric Imp estimates that the first devices with built-in support for the Imp Card will arrive by the end of this year.

According to the pricing list on the project’s website, the Imp Cards will sell for roughly $25, much less than the cost of a do-it-yourself device with similar functions. But, before connecting the toaster or the fridge to the Internet, it would be a good idea to think about how to prevent hackers to break into your refrigerator and steal your ham.

About the author

Loredana BOTEZATU

A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.

1 Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • This is interesting and even very cool for hobbyists.

    However, I don’t see how manufacturers can take up the price boost. Think it would be better to use a low-power, low-cost WiFi unit like the TI CC3000. Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=tl9_sdmGc6U