What we're up to: Nov 3, 2014 edition

Hey everybody! So much going on at Spark! It’s hard to communicate how excited we are for all the amazing things we’re about to deliver, but I wanted to take a second out of the marathon to catch my breath and share the latest news.


New hardware means new firmware architecture challenges. How much flash space do we have? How small can we make the binaries? What new messages must we add to the Spark protocol to support the new hardware? How do we keep those messages backward-compatible? These are just a few of the hard problems we’re solving so product creators don’t have to!

The Hardware Abstraction Layer is basically complete, and the firmware team (@satishgn, @mdma, and @BDub) has been building out the platform layer underneath the HAL, starting with the bootloader USB functionality and headed for OTA update MVP as fast as possible.

If you take a look at the feature/hal branch in the platform/MCU directory you might notice a clue about future directions… now what processor does the Core use again…


The hardware team (@mohit, @BDub, @will) have been refining our prototypes, especially the power supply lately. They’ve been taking to the next level both the dev boards being used by the firmware team and the cosmetic versions we needed for photography. Some gorgeous pics have been circulated internally by @dick, who’s also been working on some sweet hardware+library demos that’ll blow your mind.


Scalability is priority number one. @jgoggins keeps pushing the envelope of what we can automate, both internally for exploratory testing and externally so that when awesome IoT conferences happen and hundreds or thousands of devices turn on at once, Spark OS doesn’t bat an eye.

IFTTT integration is close! @dave has done the vast majority of the work, with some recent heavy lifting for the real-time API, and I’ve been fleshing out the supporting OAuth implementation. We’re all super excited for the possibilities this enables. Start dreaming about what you’ll make!


Our fork of Atom is getting its final polish. Lately @suda has been shipping new Mac & Windows installable versions almost every day for the Spark team to test! Release candidate approacheth.

Go Giants!

I have no idea how many of you follow American baseball, but it just so happens that last week, while the whole U.S. Spark team was visiting SF, the San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series. This made for some epic celebrations, and the streets were pretty crazy. Most of the Spark team was grabbing dinner at a bar near Sparkhaus when the final pitch was thrown, and thus began an exciting night no matter where you were in SF!

Enchanted Objects Contest

In case you haven’t heard the announcements on twitter or facebook, we’re sponsoring an Enchanted Objects Contest with Instructables!

You can bring your favorite fandom items to life or magically enhance something otherwise mundane. Our ideas keep coming from Harry Potter, Minecraft, Tolkien, Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica examples, but it could be anything. We can’t wait to see what you build!

And more

Some new Spark team members have joined the crew recently or will be joining us soon. We’ll make community introductions before too long—these are amazing people with mad skills! I’m so lucky to spend my days (and nights!) with such outstanding individuals! We’re all working hard to keep you ahead of the curve as you build connected products. This is best community ever; keep making us proud!

We love you guys and gals! Keep making amazing things and posting them here and on hackster. Don’t forget that you can share your love of Spark in all kinds of ways, from twitter and facebook to IRC and instructables.



Do you have any preliminary release dates set?
Will the pin out and dimensions be the same as the Rev 1 core?

We have a business plan on hold for beta testing to incorporate these new modules into our product and any dates would help us modify our time line for the critical beta testing.

Thanks for any info that you can share!

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Hardware and software compatibility with the Core is a priority. No need to be on hold, just keep prototyping with the Core. You’ll know more very soon!!