Electric Imp

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Electric Imp
Type Private
Founded 2011
Headquarters Los Altos, California and Cambridge, England
Key people Hugo Fiennes (Chief Executive Officer)
Peter Hartley (Software Architect)
Oliver Hutaff (Chief Financial Officer)
Bryan Kennedy (VP Strategic Development)
William Podrasky (EVP, Global Sales and Business Development)
Industry Internet, Internet of Things
Products Electric Imp Platform, BlinkUp, imp card and modules
Website electricimp.com
Launched 2011

Electric Imp is a Los Altos, California and Cambridge, England based technology company that provides connectivity for the Internet of Things through a cloud service and embedded hardware and software platform, enabling devices to be connected to the Internet. Electric Imp's connectivity solution allows manufacturers and developers to manage and scale their connected products and services to millions of users.

Electric Imp's name is an homage to the Interface Message Processor, a computer that in the early days of the Internet performed a similar role but for general computers rather than consumer electronics.[1]

Inspiration[edit]

In early 2011, Hugo Fiennes, CEO and co-founder of Electric Imp, was remodeling a bathroom in his home and wanted to add a strip of RGB lights under a cabinet to light the floor.[2] His plan was to connect them to WiFi so they could display all sorts of ambient information - the hourly weather forecast, daily calendar, stock prices - all indicated with color changes along the strip that could be seen at a glance.

The project turned out to be more complicated than initially envisioned and after much frustration with the available tools Fiennes determined that there should be a better, simpler way to integrate connectivity. What was needed, he concluded, was to take the best implementations of hardware, firmware and cloud service, consolidate them into a powerful Internet of Things-inspired platform, and let them be applied to any device in the world.

History[edit]

Electric Imp was founded in 2011 and remained stealth until 2012 when it announced funding and launched its product platform,[3] consisting of a cloud service and embedded hardware and software platform that provides Internet connectivity to devices.

In 2013, Electric Imp announced customer relationships with Budweiser,[4] Quirky & GE[5] and Lockitron[6] in which the company’s platform provides Internet connectivity to a variety of smart consumer products from those companies.

The company announced a relationship on April 15, 2014 with Murata, a Japan-based manufacturer of electronic components, to produce and sell the next generation Electric Imp WiFi enabled connectivity module, the imp003.

Products[edit]

The Electric Imp connectivity platform consists of integrated hardware, software, OS, APIs, cloud servers.

Imp Hardware: The Electric Imp platform starts with the imp, a module containing WiFi and a processor that acts as the gateway to connect a device to the Internet or work as a independent device.
There are currently three versions of the Electric Imp hardware: imp001, which utilizes a SD card sized form factor; imp002, a solder-down module;[7] and the Murata produced imp003, which is 1/10th the size of first generation imp modules.
The removable card is physically identical to an SD card, but is not used for data storage. Instead, the card contains a processor and WiFi. The form factor was chosen to leverage the existing SD card sockets and holders. A small Atmel cryptography chip is the only addition needed [8][9][10] and is used to give the device a unique 72-bit ID.[11][12]
Each imp features a unique Mac address. Code from the cloud is tied to a device, not the imp, which enables users to use the imp card (restricted to the removable imp001 card) in multiple devices that do not need constant WiFi connectivity.
Imp OS: The Imp operating system (a heavily modified version of ECos[13]) is the software foundation for the imp’s features and services.
Imp Cloud: The Imp Cloud is the only network endpoint an imp can connect to, enabling users to run agents - server side code that runs in a secure environment - that are used to provide HTTP I/O and cloud-side processing.
Imp Open API: The imp API enables users to tailor the platform to their needs and develop enhancements such as messaging and monitoring.
Imp BlinkUp: BlinkUp™ is a patent-pending setup technology that enables users to connect devices to the Internet through a iOS or Android smartphone or tablet by flashing setup information to the Imp via a light sensor.
Imp Services (IDE and Ops Console): Imp services allow users to write code and push updates to any imp-enabled device that has an Internet connection.

Retail distribution[edit]

Adafruit
DigiKey
Grand St.
Jameco Electronics
smARtMAKER
SparkFun Electronics
Antratek

Management[edit]

Electric Imp was founded in 2011 by Hugo Fiennes, Peter Hartley and Kevin Fox, and launched its Internet connectivity platform in 2012. Prior to Electric Imp, Fiennes managed the Apple iPhone hardware team through its first four generations;[14] Hartley was a long-time firmware engineer; and Fox was a user experience design lead for Google Gmail.

The company’s current leadership team is composed of Fiennes; Hartley; Chief Financial Officer Oliver Hutaff; Bryan Kennedy, VP strategic development; and William Podrasky, executive vice president, global sales.

Funding[edit]

Electric Imp is funded by Redpoint Ventures and Lowercase Capital.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hands-On With Imp, the Wi-Fi Card That Wants to Power Your ‘Internet of Things’
  2. ^ Pasolini, Antonio (May 21, 2012). "Electric Imp promises a simpler cheaper path to the Internet of Things". Gizmag. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Lawler, Ryan (May 16, 2012). "Electric Imp Raises $7.9M From Redpoint & Lowercase Capital To Power The Internet of Things". TechCrunch. 
  4. ^ Maly, Tim (February 4, 2013). "Budweiser Embraces the Internet of Things With In-Home Automatic Hockey Goal Light". Wired. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Higginbotham, Stacey (April 15, 2013). "The internet of things gets industrial strength collaboration with GE, Electric Imp & Quirky". GigaOm. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Kumparak, Greg (March 21, 2013). "Lockitron To Be Powered By Electric Imp, Allowing Set Up In A Flash (Literally)". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  7. ^ http://blog.electricimp.com/post/52177595958/electric-imp-releases-new-solder-down-imp-module
  8. ^ http://hackaday.com/2012/09/04/hands-on-with-the-electric-imp/
  9. ^ http://www.atmel.com/Images/doc8740.pdf
  10. ^ http://devwiki.electricimp.com/doku.php?id=newimpee
  11. ^ http://proto-pic.co.uk/atsha204-authentication-chip-breakout/
  12. ^ http://forums.electricimp.com/discussion/541/any-chance-of-an-api-to-access-eeprom-in-the-atsha204
  13. ^ The Amp Hour Electronics Podcast #202 – An Interview With Brandon Harris
  14. ^ Kovach, Steve (June 7, 2012). "Are You Ready? The Next Big Thing In Tech Is Coming From One Of The Geniuses Behind The iPhone". Business Insider. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Lawler, Ryan (May 16, 2013). "Electric Imp Raises $7.9M From Redpoint & Lowercase Capital To Power The Internet of Things". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 

External links[edit]