I’ve been waiting for device control as the next big wave of home computing: tie the brains of the ubiquitous computer to the electrical and electronic tools that surround us, such as HVAC systems, telephone systems, lighting, etc. But to my surprise there’s been little of this to emerge, other than limited systems like X10.
But now there’s an open source effort to provide cheap generic microcontrollers that can be easily programmed in a kind of homebrew fashion, coming out of Italy of all places.
Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It’s an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.