Like IoT? Like wearables? Like dev kits? Well, you could do a lot worse than taking a look at the awesome MikroElektronika-designed Hexiwear.
What’s not to like? It’s small, it’s a chock-full of goodies, and it’s super easy to customize and expand — thanks to an ecosystem of Click boards and its docking station.
I first started working with a Hexiwear about three months ago, and to be honest, I struggled when thinking about what to do with it as the stock demo code had so many features! That was until I discovered the wealth of Click boards available…
Everything from Wi-Fi to cameras to sensors, you name it, there’s a Click board for that! For my project (the iBreathe Breathalyzer), I settled on the Alcohol Click. As a bonus, I was going to attempt to make my creation talk after realizing there’s a Text-to-Speech Click board. (I told you they had everything!)
Just as I was about to begin development, I learned that the Hexiwear platform had become ARM mBed OS-compatible. The fact that the compiler and editor were cloud-based really made a lot of sense to me, especially since I tend to build at both work and home. This meant I could log on to any web browser and carry on working. Splendid!
There was one minor issue — there was no Alcohol Click or Text-to-Speech Click examples or support in mBed OS. Honestly, it didn’t matter. Using the sample code available on libstock.com, I was able to port the the examples over to mBed OS, and after a week of syntax tweaking and debugging, got it up and running.
This is a testament to how much info is out there, how easy the Hexiwear was to expand, and how simple it was to create a talking IoT breathalyzer. (Not sure the world is quite ready for that but it was a fun project nonetheless!)
Hexiwear is a great platform for beginners (particularly if paired with mBed OS) and absolutely complex enough to satisfy the most experience embedded engineers. You can go as rudimentary (LED blinking) or as advanced (OLED interface, SPI, I2C, BLE) as you like.
I have posted a spectacularly British rambling testimonial video on the YouTubes for your enjoyment. It was a bit longer than I originally intended, but hopefully will give you some idea about my enthusiasm for a dev kit and ecosystem that continues to grow…
I can’t wait to see how far this will evolve! Thanks for reading!