Microsoft and Arduino announced partnership at Build 2015.
If you’ve been following along with Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference, or have attended one of Hackster.IO’s recent Hardware Weekend events, then you know that the Seattle-based company has joined the list of major brands embracing the Maker crowd. Testament to that, the tech giant has announced a partnership with Arduino, making Windows 10 the world’s first Arduino-certified operating system.
The story was revealed amidst plenty of other exciting things from the week, which included a demonstration of the HoloLens augmented-reality headset, the introduction of the Azure Data Lake big data repository, Microsoft Edge being named Internet Explorer’s successor, in addition to Windows 10 becoming the OS that consumers will use across their PCs, smartphones, tablets and Xbox One game consoles.
Speaking of the new OS that will be able to run iOS and Android apps on both desktop and mobile devices, the company also shared some remarkable news for the DIY community. Windows 10 IoT Core is a new Windows 10 edition for low-cost, small-footprint devices that will be available for Makers and commercial device builders — at no cost.
Alongside the much anticipated Insider Preview of Windows 10 IoT Core for Raspberry Pi 2 devices, Microsoft has released a range of tools in the Arduino-certified Windows 10 that serve as a bridge between the Universal Windows Platform and the incredibly-popular Atmel based hardware: the availability of Windows Remote Arduino and Windows Virtual Shield for Arduino open-source libraries. The Arduino-certified Windows 10 will enable developers to make smart devices that combine the hardware-driving capability of Arduino with the software capabilities of Windows.
“An example might be a security camera. One could build a camera using Arduino to power the motor controls to tilt/turn the camera and using Universal Windows Platform one can create great UI, connect the camera to the cloud, process the image for motion detection and add facial/voice recognition,” Microsoft’s Steve Teixeira writes. “The work we have done on Windows 10 is the bridge between the Universal Windows Platform and Arduino hardware.”
With Windows Virtual Shield for Arduino, developers will have the ability to tap into the incredible power of Windows 10 devices through wireless protocols. For instance, a Lumia 530 contains well over $200-worth of shield sensors and capabilities, and now Makers can tap into all of those sensors and capabilities from an Arduino as if they were standard hardware shields.
“Imagine being able to create an Arduino project that includes GPS, Web connectivity/parsing, touch display, speech technologies and more. We’re particularly fond of the picture the weather project we’ve created that lets you bring your children’s drawings to life.”
Secondly, Windows Remote Arduino gives users the opportunity to extend their Universal Windows Application with Arduino commands that execute on a wirelessly-connected hardware device. This combines the power of Windows 10 device features, like image processing, speech recognition, website parsing, cameras and advanced audio pipelines, with the power of physical world interactivity through Arduino.
Adding a little more icing to the cake, Microsoft has unveiled their ongoing relationship with our pals at Hackster.IO, which includes collaboration on hackathons using Windows and Azure. The company has even tapped Hackster.IO’s project gallery to showcase a number of sample Maker projects and more.
“Our goal is to give Makers the opportunity to play with the software bits early and to listen to the feedback on what’s working well and what we can do better. You may notice some missing drivers or rough edges; we look forward to receiving your feedback to help us prioritize development work,”explains. “We’ll be incorporating the feedback we receive into regular software updates along with additional drivers, bug fixes and new features. Those looking for a commercial-quality release should wait for general availability this summer.”
Undoubtedly, this is an exciting time for the DIY community, especially in the days leading up to Maker Faire Bay Area! If you want to learn more, head over to Microsoft’s official page here.