What is Blynk?
Imagine a prototyping board on your smartphone where you drag and drop buttons, sliders, displays, graphs and other functional widgets. And in a matter of minutes these widgets can control Arduino and get data from it.
New shield to buy? Nope. Not this time.
Blynk is not an app that works only with a particular shield. Instead, it's been designed to support the boards and shields you are already using. And it works on iOs and Android.
UPD: Blynk also works over USB. This means you can tinker with the app by connecting it to your laptop or desktop while waiting for some internet shield to arrive.
How it works
Blynk works over the Internet. So the one and only requirement is that your hardware can talk to the Internet.
No matter what type of connection you choose - Ethernet, Wi-Fi or maybe this new ESP8266 everyone is talking about – Blynk libraries and example sketches will get you online, connect to Blynk Server and pair up with your smartphone.
Currently, Blynk libraries work with this stuff:
- Ethernet shield
- WiFi shield
- Arduino with Ethernet
- Arduino YÚN (testing in progress)
- Raspberry Pi (Blynk will communicate with Pi's GPIOs)
- more Arduino compatible shields and boards (this list will be updated as we test the compatibility)
We are excited to extend this list with other awesome internet enabled products. These are our next integrations:
- Electric Imp
- Spark Core
- The AirBoard
- Wicked Wildfire
- ...you name it!
We hope to get feedback and support from the community to set priorities and build additional hardware libraries. Please let us know which boards you would like Blynk to support by voting on our website after the campaign.
No laptop involved. Unless you really need it
It's not that easy to take Arduino out of your home network, so we've built a Blynk server. It handles all the authentication and communication, and also keeps an eye on your board while the smartphone is offline. Blynk server runs on Java and is open-source. You will be able to run it locally if you really need to. Messaging between mobile apps , Blynk Server and Arduino is based on a simple, lightweight and fast binary protocol over TCP/IP sockets.
For new and experienced makers
Blynk works out of the box: no new languages to learn, no additional software to install and no long documentation reading.
If you just started tinkering with Arduino, Blynk is your way to quickly get into Internet of Your Things, as you don’t even need to write a code for trying out it's power.
For those of you who are building more complex projects like robots or home automation, Blynk will save time writing an app for each project. The platform is very flexible and customizable.
Super easy setup
When designing Blynk, we really focused on simplifying things so that you could see your first results very quickly. However, if you are into writing more serious code, you'll have the full freedom in your hands.
Here is the simplest set up:
That's it. Seriously. Now you can start building something awesome!
For those who missed our Kickstarter video, this quick tutorial will show you how easy it is to turn on the lights with Blynk.
Things you can do with Blynk
We don't know what you will do with it... Really, it’s like listing what you can do with Arduino. Anyway, here are just a few examples for your inspiration:
Make Arduino take photos each time you open the fridge. Next time you are in a groceries store - open the Blynk app, check the photo and buy only what's needed.
If you decide to build a drone, consider Blynk as a co-pilot. Use the Joystick Widgets or give commands by tilting your phone.
Talk to your plants
You've seen this before, right? Some might say that it's boring… But we love plants, and think that it's cool when they can talk back :)
...and much much much more!
Don't wait for new components
When you are excited about a new project idea and want to quickly try it out, it is particularly annoying to have to order new components and wait for them to arrive. With Blynk you can start prototyping right away!
And when you are ready to build it in a physical world - just add those components, change a few lines in the code and start pushing the buttons.
A box full of widgets
We plan to have widgets to serve all kinds of projects. Some of the widgets will be included in the basic version of the app, and others can be additionally purchased as the need arises.
UPD: Add ESP8266 suport in June
We care about your needs and wants - on the Blynk's website you'll be able to tell us which widgets you might need for your projects and we will work on that!
It’s really easy to set up Blynk so that, for example, a Button Widget on your iPhone directly turns the Arduino pin HIGH or LOW. Or set up a Graph Widget so that it displays sensor data straight from the Analog Input pin.
But what if you need to initiate a set of actions with just one tap on the phone? Or maybe data from the sensor needs to be processed before being displayed on the screen?
This is where virtual pins come into play. You can use them to transfer any data between the Blynk App and Arduino.
Current status and future plans
We already have working prototypes for each of Blynk's platform components: apps for iOs and Android, libraries for Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and Blynk server.
Your help is needed to complete the development, build awesome widgets and ensure best experience and excellent performance of the platform. Adding support to a wider variety of hardware also requires additional investment.
We have tons of ideas on how to make Blynk even more useful and will continue developing those far beyond the Kickstarter campaign. Here are some of the items on our roadmap:
adding more sophisticated widgets
- expanding the list of supported hardware;
- adding bluetooth support;
- integrating with services like Temboo, Xively, IFTTT.
If we get a lot of support on Kickstarter, we will introduce very exciting stretch goals, unlocking Eventor and Bridge Widgets.
Looking forward to bringing Blynk to makers all over the world!
These are the people building Blynk:
- Pasha Baiborodin - Founder and user experience design warrior
- Dmytro Dumanskiy - Co-Founder and server side guru
- Volodymyr Shymanskyy - embedded Yoda
- Max Kareta - iOs ninja
- Alex Kipar - Android samurai
- Iryna Liashchuk - Communications princess
This campaign and Blynk would never have started without support of these amazing people:
Dmytro Bershadskyy, Yulia Kovalyova, Oleksii Osynovskyy, Eugene Pylinsky, Anton Frolov, Krishna Pattabiraman, Florian Friesinger, Mali, Gregory Paksutkin, Nikita Bogorosh, Denys Gritsak, Bridget Bisset
Thank you so much for your support!
Risks and challenges
The main challenge for Blynk upon successful start with Arduino and Raspberry Pi is keeping up with the large and growing variety of maker's hardware. Being able to identify the most promising platforms and quickly ensuring compatibility with Blynk is a challenge, but we are well-equipped to face it. First of all, Blynk platform has been designed as very flexible to allow for rapid updates. Secondly, the open-source nature of the product will allow the community to participate and help us better satisfy their needs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)