I work for a large manufacturing company. An Engineer asked me if I would have a table set-up at a mini “Maker” type of expo and demonstrate/explain the Imp. There will be others there with the Arduino and a bunch of other hand-made projects and electronic things. I have a few imp001’s and an imp002 to show how the blink-up works and the agent/cloud/ide operation. I now know that a lot of the people involved in this expo are actually interested in what I’m doing because they haven’t heard much about the Imp.
Here’s my dilemma. The imp001 and imp002 are being retired. It will be harder and harder to get them. There is a guy doing a Tindie thing with the imp003 (breakout board), but on a small scale. Not able to fill many orders. As far as I know, there is no “developer” or “experimenter” options available if the imp001 and imp002 are not available. What do I tell people? “The Imp is really cool, but sorry, you’ll have to wait for someone to develop the imp004 or imp005 breakout board?” When someone does create something, it will probably be expensive. A tough sell considering the advancement of the ESP8266 Breakout, which is fairly cheap and getting much easier to use.
I’m getting a feeling in my gut that the Imp is moving to a commercial product only, and the amateur “guy at home” developer or tinkerer will not be a part of it in the future. I realize it’s a business and the object is to make a profit.
How many “free” imp accounts are in service, and is the impact so huge that Imp will have to charge a token amount of money to have an account? The Imp has moved and advanced so quickly in the past 2 years, it seems like the “development” phase of the Imp is soon to be over. Will it all be sold to a company that will no longer even have free accounts?
Is this just something I’m overthinking and should not worry so much?
I just don’t know if I should agree to do the presentation or not.
imp003 breakouts are being fabbed right now and will be in Digikey and Mouser (if you needed one for your show & tell, let me know and I’ll get you one of the samples we have right now). We already have 005 breakouts and are making ones for 004 which again will be in distribution.
We’re absolutely committed to making sure people (hobbyist and commercial alike) can easily prototype with all imps and we will not be charging for developer accounts. Some of our best commercial customers started off as tinkerers - and because everyone gets the commercial-strength setup, scaling up from there is really easy.
You’re worrying needlessly
Thanks for the feedback and information on upcoming breakouts.
That makes me feel much better about the whole thing.
I’ll be fine with what I have now for demos. I can sleep soundly tonight $-)
I’m the guy selling IMP003 Development Boards on Tindie and I just received the first batch of 100 fabbed in China; I expect to keep a steady supply from now on. I can supply any quantity within 30 days if 100 isn’t enough. The development board conforms to the impee-fcc003-ca RF reference design and might allow use of Electric Imp’s modular certification for FCC testing in the United States. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for specific details. The board is small, breadboard-friendly, and affordable. Please contact me for further information at email@example.com or check out the boards here: https://www.tindie.com/products/onehorse/electric-imp-imp003-development-board/.
Thanks for what you’re doing. That is the only source I found for the newest imps. I’m glad there are other breakouts in process (imp004 and imp005). Personally for myself, I’m OK for a while with what I have. I just don’t want to get others hooked on the imp and not have a place to get them. The Imp “tails” development kit is no longer in stock at Amazon either. They are getting more, but who knows how long they will be available? That was my original point … will there be a time when hobbyists will be stuck without an Imp. @Hugo (and you) have allowed me to set my worries aside.
Tails will be around for a while, but not forever - they’re really an imp001 thing. When the tails run out, if we still have more 001’s then we’ll make something for them to live in… can’t let imps go homeless!
btw I believe we restocked Amazon earlier this week so they should be showing up soon.