Get a Clue About the World with Adafruit's New Board, the Clue

The Clue packs seven sensor types into a micro:bit-compatible form factor. Here are some details from Adafruit's preview of the new board.

James Lewis
a month agoSensors / Python on Hardware
A batch of prototype boards. (📷: Adafruit)

Electronics need sensors to gain clues about the physical world. Adafruit is developing a new board called Clue, which comes with (almost) every sensor type you might want to use. In addition to being an all-in-one sensing platform, the Clue's form factor, size, and pin-compatibility make it a spiritual successor to the BBC micro:bit.

When developing the Clue, Adafruit needed a board larger than their Feather form factor but not as big as their Metro boards to fit all of the sensors. Instead of developing a new board size, they adopted the micro:bit's shape, size, and pin-out. This choice means the Clue is compatible with existing micro:bit cases and accessories, while adding new capabilities.

The Clue's nRF52840 Cortex-M4 is a significant upgrade compared to the micro:bit's M0-based processor. The M4 is the same BLE-enabled processor used on other Adafruit boards, like the Circuit Playground, so expect Arduino IDE compatibility and extensive CircuitPython support. Adafruit estimates support for Microsoft's MakeCode will take about a year.

On-board there is a 1.3" 240x240 display, two buttons, and an array of sensors. Sensing capabilities include a 6-axis motion sensor, light level (lux), color, microphone, humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure. If those sensors are not enough, there is a STEMMA (4-pin JST PH) connector that extends the Clue's capabilities. (We hope Tom Anderson's sensor scope code will support the Clue!)

Adafruit has not released details like cost and availability yet. During the preview of the board, Lady Ada mentioned there are a couple of revisions that need to be made before going to production. As you can imagine, we at Hackster News are eagerly awaiting its introduction.

For now, check out this Adafruit blog post on the Clue. It contains some summary information and a clip from their Ask An Engineer show introducing the new board.

James Lewis
Enginerd at night. Electrical Engineer on paper. Fan of making things that blink, fly, or beep. Creator of: KN6FGY.
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