Project image
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$37,380
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
366
backers
13days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, September 8 2019 2:20 PM UTC +00:00.

$37,380
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
366
backers
13days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, September 8 2019 2:20 PM UTC +00:00.

About

FEATURED IN 

WHAT IS ELK?

Elk is a development board for the blockchain and the decentralized web. It combines the simplicity of Arduino along with native support for decentralized networks. With only a few lines of code you can build IoT that interfaces with Ethereum, IPFS, Whisper, and more! 

Elk empowers developers to build what we call “Decent IoT”.

Elk includes a powerful processor to connect directly to decentralized networks with no intermediaries. It is plug-and-play just like an Arduino, includes an Arduino compatible SDK, and a mobile app that allows you to communicate with your hardware privately through decentralized technologies.

When building IoT projects with Elk, you're speaking the language of the decentralized web. Here's a quick look at what our SDK offers:

SAY HELLO TO "DECENT IOT" 👋

The potential for blockchain and decentralization extends far beyond the hype. Decentralization allows us to build IoT that is far more private, far more secure, and far more capable. We call it “Decent IoT”, and that’s what we are set out to introduce with Elk.

I. CENTRALIZED IOT (CURRENT ARCHITECTURE)

Current IoT architecture relies on centralized cloud providers for communication and data storage. This, by necessity, means that a cloud provider (and whomever hacks it):

  • Has control of your device
  • Can deny you access to your device
  • Can breach your privacy and track your metadata

II. DECENTRALIZED ("DECENT") IOT

The new decentralized web enables a completely new paradigm for IoT. Instead of communicating via a cloud provider, all communications are run privately through a decentralized network, and sensors' data can be logged on to IPFS instead of a central server.

Decent IoT is a paradigm that:

  • Gives you complete privacy, including metadata
  • Puts you, and only you, in control of your devices
  • Enables entirely new use-cases: payments, oracles, selling data, and more!

DECENT IOT PROJECTS YOU CAN BUILD WITH ELK

I. IOT WITH TRUE CONTROL AND TRUE PRIVACY

Build IoT that is completely private and gives you, and only you, control of your devices. With just a few lines of code you can built IoT that relies entirely on decentralized networks for communication and for data storage using Ethereum’s Whisper protocol, IPFS, and the Elk app.

Build a decentralized home automation system: a decentralized door lock, decentralized smart lights, or even a decentralized thermostat.

A decentralized smart door lock that you can control remotely with no intermediary cloud provider
A decentralized smart door lock that you can control remotely with no intermediary cloud provider

II. IOT THAT ACCEPTS PAYMENTS

Despite the hype, crypto-currencies are here to stay and they are the easiest to integrate with IoT. While currencies like Bitcoin are used as a store of value, other cryptocurrencies are stable and can be used in payments with low transaction fees, such as DAI.

With only a few lines of code, program devices that accept crypto-currencies like Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. Execute smart contracts, listen to events on the blockchain, and more!  

Build an electric outlet or a charging station that you can rent using crypto
Build an electric outlet or a charging station that you can rent using crypto
A coffee machine that brews coffee in exchange for cryptocurrency
A coffee machine that brews coffee in exchange for cryptocurrency

III. IOT THAT MOTIVATES YOU

Build devices that motivate you to do your workouts, wake up early, or water your plants. The possibilities are truly endless.

Lock your money into a punching bag and only get it back when you finish your workout
Lock your money into a punching bag and only get it back when you finish your workout
An alarm clock that charges you if you don't wake up on time
An alarm clock that charges you if you don't wake up on time

IV. AND MORE!

Blockchain integration with hardware devices paves the way for new applications. Sensors can be used as an oracle to the blockchain to trigger a smart contract action, you can use programmable money to rent assets and govern your devices, or even sell your sensors' data in an open marketplace without a third party.  

With decentralized IOT you can sell your data, like your car's data, in an online marketplace
With decentralized IOT you can sell your data, like your car's data, in an online marketplace
Take the adrenaline in basketball to a whole new level with hoops you can bet against
Take the adrenaline in basketball to a whole new level with hoops you can bet against

A CLOSER LOOK AT ELK

I. "HELLO WORLD": CONTROLLING A LED WITH DECENTRALIZED TECHNOLOGIES

With just 15 lines of code, you can create your very first Decent IoT project! The following tutorial shows how you can get started using Elk and how to control the built-in LED on the board remotely using your phone and the magic of decentralized networks. 

Full sketch for remotely controlling the built-in LED using Whisper and the Elk app.
Full sketch for remotely controlling the built-in LED using Whisper and the Elk app.

II. LET'S TALK PAYMENTS: BUZZ WHEN YOU RECEIVE ETHER!

It's hard to talk about decentralization without talking about payments. Again, with a very simple circuit and a few lines of code, this tutorial will show you how to build a buzzer that buzzes whenever a payment is made from/to your account.

A circuit that buzzes when an account sends/receives Ether
A circuit that buzzes when an account sends/receives Ether
The full sketch for the above circuit
The full sketch for the above circuit

WHY ELK?

I. A 10X BETTER UX 

Elk offers a plug-and-play experience, just like an Arduino. You won’t need to deal with wallet and keys management, fuss over setting up nodes, tune their parameters to run well on an embedded device, handle crashes, etc. Elk "just works", so you can focus on building cool applications and not on the overheads when exploring decentralization.

Additionally, we extended Ethereum’s Whisper protocol and built the Elk mobile app, an app that makes it trivial for you to interact with your hardware remotely and privately via Whisper through any mobile device.

Using the Elk app, you can communicate and send commands remotely to your boards using Ethereum's Whisper network
Using the Elk app, you can communicate and send commands remotely to your boards using Ethereum's Whisper network
The Elk protocol is a thin-wrapper around Whisper. With one line of code you can generate a UI in the Elk app for controlling your devices. No mobile development required. Now isn't that "decent"? ;)
The Elk protocol is a thin-wrapper around Whisper. With one line of code you can generate a UI in the Elk app for controlling your devices. No mobile development required. Now isn't that "decent"? ;)

II. BLOCKCHAIN AGNOSTIC

While our SDK ships with support for a number of decentralized networks, Elk is designed from the ground up to be blockchain agnostic and support for more platforms will continually be added by us and the community (psst: Elk is 100% open-source).

III. TRUE DECENTRALIZATION 

By default and when possible, Elk runs a light node and communicates directly with blockchain networks and not through a hosted service. Elk pushes decentralization all the way to the edge!


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL SPECS

  • Easy to use and extensible SDK for Ethereum, Whisper, IPFS, Status, and more on the way.
  • A mobile app to easily control your hardware via Whisper
  • Arduino Compatible
  • Breadboard Compatible
  • 100% open-source (hardware and software)

HARDWARE SPECS

  • Dual inline breadboard compatible hardware board (55mm x 25.5mm)
  • Quad Core 1Ghz Linux SoC (H3 from Allwinner) with 512MB of DDR3 RAM
  • 8GB mass storage eMMC persistant storage
  • 100Mhz 32-bit microcontroller (STM32f411 from STM)
  • 2.4Ghz WiFi module with an integrated antenna
  • RGB LED
  • 2 push-buttons

Exposed IOs (all are 3.3V but 5V tolerant):

  • 28 Digital
  • 10 Analog
  • 2 UART
  • 3 I2C
  • 3 SPI
  • 21 PWM
How Elk works internally
How Elk works internally

EARLY PROTOTYPES

I. FEBRUARY 2018: INITIAL PROTOTYPE AT ETHDENVER

We implemented the above prototype over three days at the ETHDenver hackathon. We used a NanoPi Duo as the microprocessor and an ESP8266 as the programmable microcontroller.

II. JUNE 2018: MORE COMPACT

A double sided PCB daughter board for PocketBeagle. We used an ESP32 module as the programmable microcontroller as well as a USB A port for WiFi connectivity.

III. OCTOBER 2018: OUR FIRST HOMEGROWN

Our first homegrown hardware design with the breadboard-compatible form factor we envisioned. It consists of a single core 1-Ghz microprocessor from TI with 512MB of ram (OSD3358-SM SoM from Octavo Systems), a 120Mhz micro-controller from ST (STM32F205), a compact WiFi 2.4Ghz WiFi module, a microSD card connector, an RGB LED, a USB port and a couple of buttons and a user-controlled LED. We only used SMD components for this one in order to get to that compact and small design.

IV. JUNE 2019: NEW DESIGN + HIGHER SPECS 

Our second homegrown high speed hardware using an 8-layer compact PCB. We completely redesigned the board from the ground up. We bumped up the specs to a 1Ghz Quad Core microprocessor (Allwinner H3) and utilized a smaller yet powerful 100Mhz micro-controller from ST (STM32F411). 


REWARDS

Feel free to add any of the below items to your rewards and we will ship them with your original reward.


TIMELINE 

TEAM 

OUR FRIENDS FROM THE DECENTRALIZED WORLD 

  •  Consensys Academy: New to blockchain? No problem! We’ve teamed up with ConsenSys Academy to include their blockchain training along with our Learner and Educator Kits!
  •  Streamr: Elk allows you to own your sensors’ data and sell them through Streamr’s open marketplace.
  •  Gitcoin: Elk is a great start to learn blockchain development and potentially earn money through Gitcoin’s open source bounties.
  •  Metamask: MetaMask is the go-to account management platform for the Ethereum Blockchain on desktop and now on mobile. MetaMask is a bridge that allows you to visit the distributed web of tomorrow in your browser today.

STORY

Our story begins in 2013 when we started 1Sheeld, a hardware board that turns your smartphone into 40+ Arduino shields. Since its inception, 1Sheeld has powered tens of thousands of makers in 120+ countries.

1Sheeld's Kickstarter Campaign from 2013
1Sheeld's Kickstarter Campaign from 2013

We’ve been following blockchain tech for years, and as we began exploring it in our spare time, we saw how decentralization allows us to build IoT that is far more private, far more secure, and far more capable.

Having said that, blockchain development is subpar, let alone blockchain development for embedded devices. While building prototypes of blockchain-connected devices, we had to acquire significant knowledge across multiple disciplines like networking, cryptography, security, OS administration and bare metal embedded development just to get started. This is a showstopper for newcomers, designers or prototypers who will develop the products of tomorrow.

At the ETHDenver Hackathon in 2018, we built a prototype of a development board that offers the simplicity of Arduino for building blockchain-connected devices. We ended up winning first place, and the Elk project was born. 

INVESTORS 

Our team is backed by venture capitals and angel investors: Tachyon - accelerator by Consensys ventures, Endure capital, 500 startups, Flat6labs, as well as angel investors like Karim Hussein, Con O'donnell, and Khaled Alashmouny.

Our technical advisor Sherif Eid helps us with hardware and software designs.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We'd like to thank Amir Hedayah for producing and editing our video. Thanks to M Omar, Ali, Zooka, Rady, Shady, Hany & Ramy for making the video happen. Thanks to TIEC for providing us the space to shoot our video, with special thanks to Lamiaa, A Adel, A Awad & M Sherif for facilitating. Thanks to our investors & mentors Tarek Fahim, Con O'Donnell, Waleed Khalil, Sharif Al Badawi, Hassan Haider, Ibrahim, Dina El Sehnoufy, Hany El Sonbaty, Ahmed Alfi,  Ramez Mohamed, Karim Hussein, Sherif Eid, Khaled Alashmouny and Omar Mehilba.

Risks and challenges

There are a few challenges with this campaign: Manufacturing with high-quality components is always a challenge, testing all aspects of the product (SW & HW), and of course shipping on time.
We have been working with manufacturers in China for the past 7 years and passed through many production batches within our previous company.
We are designing a testing jig to test the firmware, the Elk agent, and the wifi connectivity on the board to ensure the board has no defects before shipping.
We put a realistic timeline with some buffers to ensure our manufacturing timeline is on schedule and we ship on time as we did in our previous Kickstarter.

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    Thank You Forever!

    Thank You! As they say, a blockchain is “forever”. We’ll write your name into a smart contract and display it on our website. As long as there’s an Ethereum node out there, your name is preserved.

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    Elk T-shirt + Enamel Pin

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    Elk

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    Starter Kit

    Ready, set, crypt-go! You receive everything you need to build your first decentralized IoT project! Get some basic electronics and sensors to use as inputs to your smart contracts. And of course, because we love you, you’ll receive an invite onto our community platform where you can learn step by step how to build your first few Decent IoT projects.

    Includes:
    • Elk board
    • Power adapter
    • Micro USB cable
    • Breadboard
    • Photoresistor
    • Temperature sensor
    • Buzzer
    • RGB LED
    • LEDs
    • Potentiometers
    • Push buttons
    • 15× Resistors
    • 10× Jumper wires
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    Friends Pack (2 Elks)

    You’re thoughtful! Get an Elk board for yourself and get one for your friend who is into blockchain or hardware hacking. Both Elk boards come at the early bird price!

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    Projects Kit

    This kit is for all of you buidlers & makers to build the devices of tomorrow! We've put together plenty of sensors for you can to build the coolest IoT projects. Build devices that motivate you to workout (like in the video), machines that accept crypto-payments, and log your sensors' data to smart contracts and sell them in an open marketplace. And who knows what other shenanigans you’ll come up with, here’s looking at you, Annie! 👀

    Includes:
    • Elk starter kit
    • Ultrasonic sensor
    • Accelerometer sensor
    • Smoke sensor
    • Motion sensor (PIR)
    • Humidity sensor
    • Sound sensor
    • Water level sensor
    • Hall effect sensor
    • Relay module
    • Monochrome OLED screen (Displays QR code for crypto-payments)
    • Current sensing module
    • 7 segment module
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    Learner Kit

    New to blockchain? No problem! We’ve teamed up with ConsenSys Academy to include their Blockchain Essentials course (worth $99) along with our Elk Project kit. This Learner Kit will allow you to learn the basics of blockchain and build hardware devices using the project kits. 

    Includes:
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    Educator's Kit

    Love teaching? Love sharing? This kit is for you! We’ve teamed up with ConsenSys Academy to include their Blockchain Essentials course (worth $99) along with four Elk boards at the early bird price. Spread knowledge and teach students in a fun and interactive way with our Educator’s Kit! 

    Includes:
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    Workshop at the Elk office

    Have a project you really want to build and don’t know where to start? Want to figure out how Elk can connect with your business? Wanna hang out with some crazy geeks in Egypt and eat some authentic Egyptian food? Come to our office in Cairo for a 1-day design and hacking workshop! We’ll go through a day workshop discussing your project and its potential connection to Blockchain backed IoT, visit the pyramids, and attend Cairo's annual Blockchain's meetup. Did you know Egypt was this Geeky?

    Oh, p.s, of course, you’ll also get an Elk projects kit + Elk's t-shirt when we ship!

    *Flights and accommodation not included

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    • Cairo blockchain meetup ticket
    • Tour at the pyramids
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    Get your favorite protocol in Elk's SDK

    Does your favorite decentralized protocol want to jump into the real world? Are you a developer of an awesome blockchain project? Let us add your project into our Elk SDK. Communicate with your protocol from our dev board to the world of electronics and sensors and unleash the creativity of the growing Elk community.

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    Starter Kit - Early Bird

    Ready, set, crypt-go! You receive everything you need to build your first decentralized IoT project! Get some basic electronics and sensors to use as inputs to your smart contracts. And of course, because we love you, you’ll receive an invite onto our community platform where you can learn step by step how to build your first few Decent IoT projects.

    Includes:
    • Elk board
    • Power adapter
    • Micro USB cable
    • Breadboard
    • Photoresistor
    • Temperature sensor
    • Buzzer
    • RGB LED
    • LEDs
    • Potentiometers
    • Push buttons
    • 15× Resistors
    • 10× Jumper wires
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    Projects Kit - Early Bird

    This kit is for all of you buidlers & makers to build the devices of tomorrow! We've put together plenty of sensors for you to build the coolest IoT projects. Build devices that motivate you to workout (like in the video), machines that accept crypto-payments, and log your sensors' data to smart contracts and sell them in an open marketplace. And who knows what other shenanigans you’ll come up with, here’s looking at you, Annie! 👀

    Includes:
    • Elk starter kit
    • Ultrasonic sensor
    • Accelerometer sensor
    • Smoke sensor
    • Motion sensor (PIR)
    • Humidity sensor
    • Sound sensor
    • Water level sensor
    • Hall effect sensor
    • Relay module
    • Monochrome OLED screen (Displays QR code for crypto-payments)
    • Current sensing module
    • 7 segment module
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    Beta Tester

    You are an adventurer! You’ll receive an Elk board before everyone else! You'll receive the Elk board as soon as we get our next batch of prototypes. And we will ship you a projects kit and an Elk T-shirt once we start shipping all rewards.

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