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IMG_1190.JPGI was able to get a way from my booth at the 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire long enough to catch Massimo Banzi's annual State of Arduino speech. It was during one of these speeches late last year that Massimo announced that Arduino would be reforming as a single entity, removing a measure of uncertainty that was clouding the future of Arduino.  I was interested in hearing what direction Arduino would be heading in now that all parties were once again united under a single brand. It was during his State of Arduino talk a couple of years ago that Massimo promoted Arduino's new sister brand Genuino.  When the merger was announced it sounded like they would go back to being a single brand.

 

That hasn't happened so far as the company still sells boards under the Genuino name and from what I can tell it looks like the plan is to keep the Genuino as a sister brand to sell boards in the EU. I'm not sure if this has been clarified anywhere, maybe someone can comment if they know what the long term plan is for the Genuino brand, but the issue of the forked Brand outside the US was not addressed. Genuino and Arduino are the same except for the name, Arduino has the better brand recognition, so I am surprised something hasn't happened to unite these two under the Arduino name. Maybe there are still legal or practical considerations for not selling under the Arduino brand outside the US?

 

Arduino's focus is on opening up the Arduino IDE to more boards, branding Arduino as the "lingua franca" of microcontrollers, implementing their API on a broad range of architectures to make it easier for anyone to write embedded code and port from one processor to another.  Massimo Banzi gives a summary of his talk on his personal blog where he talks about six projects for the near future of the Arduino open source project.

 

His talk touched on cleaning up the API by separating the cross platform Arduino API code from the platform specific code; making the Arduino-IDE do a better job of automating coding that people would do by hand by discovering dependencies for included libraries, generating prototypes for functions you create, passing files to the compiler, getting a binary file, uploading it, and more; and improving the layout for Arduino libraries to support for multiple architectures, metadata and more. He also talked about debugging the backend and the need for a task scheduler to achieve some level of multitasking with Arduino.

 

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Here are some highlights from Massimo Banzi's talk:

  • 23.4 Million IDE downloads since March 2015 (although he suggested these numbers weren't up-to-date and could be higher) or 1 download every 2.6 seconds
  • 38.2 Million Website Users, a 32.2% increase from 2015
  • Their mission is to use Open Source, Open Protocols, Open Knowledge to enable people's creativity
  • They made microcontrollers easier to use for everybody and keep making technology accessible to everyone
  • They are now working heavily on IOT, with investments in boards, connectivity technologies and cloud services
  • They've renewed their focus on STEAM education launching specific initiatives and KITs to support teachers and students
  • They are always committed to Open Source, contributing what they do to the community
  • Arduino is focused on Maker prototyping, Internet of Things, Education Kits, and the DIY Professional.

 

 

 

 

How do you feel about the State of Arduino? 

Let us know in the comments below!