Friday, September 4, 2015

Acer’s Arduino-based Cloud Professor wants to get kids into the IoT | Ars Technica

Acer’s Arduino-based Cloud Professor wants to get kids into the IoT | Ars Technica: "How do you get a younger generation, one raised on a seemingly endless supply of smartphones, tablets, and PCs, into not just using such devices, but finding out how they work too? Small development boards like the Raspberry Pi have done wonders for getting kids (and curious adults) into creating all manner of interesting hardware and software. The upcoming BBC Micro:bit promises to go a stage further, too, by giving every Year 7 student in the UK—about a million kids aged 11 to 12—their own Micro:bit board to play with. But there's another take on the development board, and it's come from the unlikeliest of places: electronics giant Acer. Buried deep within its stand at IFA 2015 in Berlin is a unique development kit called Cloud Professor. It contains the obligatory Arduino board, as well as a variety of accessories, including a USB to GPIO adaptor, a control LED, and even a dust sensor. But rather than just offer yet another way to program things on an Arduino board, the Acer kit also contains a separate module that allows the board to talk to other devices over the Internet. Essentially, it's an Internet of Things development kit that links into Acer's cloud platform, allowing tinkerers to control various aspects of their connected device via a smartphone or tablet. Because that's often a complex task (particularly for the younger age group the kit is aimed at), Acer is providing a set of apps that automatically communicate with the Cloud Professor module. This lets users concentrate on creating cool stuff, rather than mucking about with cloud protocols."

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