All of the content here is borrowed from the email update that we recently sent out. Feel free to discuss here!
Photons and Projects
Hello Spark Friends,
We’re nearing the end to this eventful year and wanted to bring you one last update from Spark. This one is all about the Photon and some very cool projects that have been built recently using the Spark Core. Seriously, you guys are killing it!
It has now been a month since we launched the Photon and we’re excited to report that nearly 7,500 have already been pre-ordered. We’re on track to sell out of our first manufacturing run in early 2015. We’ll be lining up a second manufacturing run after the first 10,000 Photons have been sold; the second run will probably ship a month later than the first, so if you and your friends want Photons in March, order now!
Development on the Photon has continued in preparation for March delivery. We’ve been making some improvements to the hardware to make the Photon easier to use and more versatile. Here are some of the changes we’ve made:
Castellated Edges: Unlike our previous development kit, the Spark Core, the Photon does not have any components on the back side. In addition, the Photon will now have “castellated edges”, which are copper-plated holes along the edge of the board. This means that in addition to putting the Photon in a breadboard, you can mount it on a PCB either by hand soldering or reflowing the board. The Photon is available on our store “without headers”, which is the best choice if you want to mount the Photon permanently onto another circuit board.
Chip antenna and u.FL connector: The Spark Core came in either a “chip antenna” version, which has the antenna on board, or a “u.FL connector” version, which lets you use an external antenna. The Photon will have both a chip antenna and a u.FL connector on every board, and you’ll be able to switch between the two options in software.
Other improvements: We’ve switched to a smaller LED (less blinding), put D7 and the LED connected to it right next to each other (less confusing), and have made the board prettier all around (less ugly).
WarSting: Vanquish Unsecure Wi-Fi networks
Today the new Hobbit movie hits the theaters, and to celebrate its release, we made our own version of Sting! Except instead of turning blue near orcs, it turns blue near unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Visit our blog to learn how to make your own, and watch a video that features an extremely makeshift Gandalf costume.
L3D Cube: a connected LED cube
Check out the latest Spark-powered project on Kickstarter: the L3D cube, a connected 3D LED cube!
Their project is 400% funded ($160K raised to date), with 19 days left. Get yours today!
It’s been a tremendous 2014 for Spark, but with what we have planned, we’re hopeful that 2015 will be even better, with new features, new integrations, new tutorials, new products and more.
Zach and The Spark Team
The Texting Tree
Text your Christmas tree to change the color of your Christmas lights. Designed by Will Dages.
Dancing Baby Groot
Everyone’s favorite character from Guardians of the Galaxy, dancing with Spark. Created by Kevin Monk.
Occupied or vacant? The internet will tell you.Created by Michael Szczepanski & Chris Cheney.