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For years we manufactured the ARDUINO in Italy. Now we created a new Open System: modular, scalable, the world's cheapest and smallest!
982 backers pledged $157,571 to help bring this project to life.


Posted by Dimitri Albino (Creator)

You were probably thinking that, with only 4 days to go, we should be done with announcements and partnerships... still need to know us a little more uh?

I'm going to talk about something very important, for few reasons:

  • one more development platform integrated with the smARtBUS Open I/O, in less than 3 weeks
  • it's a totally new concept of tools to be used to create the Internet of the things
  • is probably the world's cheapest and easiest solution that allows to integrate remote features based on Internet in your projects
  • we are one of the only two company in the world to fully support this technology and, for your reference, the first is Sparkfun, the market leader (and a big company with over 130 people of staff)

With this update we announce the full support of:


Many of you probably don't know yet this innovative product, so I will spend few minutes to give you an idea of how powerful it is.

The Imp is a very small device, using the same size and format of an SD card but is not a memory card. Inside this incredible small package you can find so much technology that's almost unbelievable, including a WiFi network card and a Cortex-M3 microcontroller.

Incredible, right? These are the features of Electric Imp:

  • Super Small Form Factor
  • WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption
  • Cortex-M3 core gives great performance combined with low power consumption
  • 6 I/O - UARTs, I2C, SPI, analog in and out, PWMs, GPIOs... all selectable under software control
  • No SDK to install, no JTAG pods, no long download times... you develop your code in a browser-based IDE
  • Software that runs on the Imp is written in Squirrel, a C-like language
  • Data passes to and from the service over a TLS encrypted interface

Why this product is cool?

Electric Imp connect to the Internet using WiFi and is totally controlled and integrated from the Cloud.

When you first open the package, all what you need to do is to download an App on your smartphone. The app for iOS is available for free on Apple's App Store and the one for Android can be found in the Play Store. With the app you can configure all the parameters to be used to access the Internet, including the login and password for the WiFi.

This done, your Imp is online and can connect to the Cloud server. Every Imp in the world has an unique ID so can be identified easily. The ID is not in the card but on the device that use it, so a card can be moved from a device to another one and will get the new ID.

When the card is online, all the programming functions are managed online, using a web based IDE. You can select what kind of functions the card should implement, write the code and all will be programmed into the card from the server, totally transparent for you.

What can we do with the Imp?

An incredible quantity of different things. Let's make an example: You can have two systems communicating over the internet, all up and running in less than 30 minutes!

All what you need is two Imp cards and the WiFi available in the two locations you want to connect. Then you will manage the settings online and all will be programmed to the devices automatically.

Electric Imp with smARtDUINO

Electric Imp connect to the physical world using control boards, named Impee.

We designed the smARtHOST IMPEE that allows to plug Electric Imp on the smARtBUS Open I/O and interact with all the other components.

The Imp can become a smARtCORE and use the 6 GPIOs to communicate with other boards. For example can work over the PSI or the I2C and control LCDs or Memory cards.

The Imp can also share the resources with another smARtCORE. For example a smARtCORE U, L or Z, can read multiple analog and digital or analog I/Os and transfer the data to the Imp, that will share over the internet. Or, another example, you can use two Imps to control from remote motors or relays.

Do you need more information?

You can check the Electric Imp's official website:

You can also find useful information and a lot of examples on the wiki:

How can you get the Imp?

From your personal page, of course!

The Electric Imp is already available to all our backers. We prepared two packages, for 1 and 2 Imps, that include the card and the smARtHOST IMPEE.

The price is very competitive, only 29$ for the single pack and 55$ for the double, that include 2 Imps plus 2 smARtHOST IMPEE!!!

This is a rare opportunity, because other sellers offer the Electric Imp at 30US$ not including any adapter and shipment!

The smARtHOST IMPEE is also available separated, for who already have the Imp.

The Electric Imp will be also available from our distribution channel smARtMAKER, with stock in all the warehouses in Asia, Europe and USA.


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    1. Bill Ang on

      hi Dimitri,
      before you run off with all the wild ideas... of imps and elfs... do consider that people have invested in your idea and you should get it done.. it is already 2 months behind time and you have not responded to private emails..... do caveat eptor... everyone

    2. Dimitri Albino Creator on

      @helder, the costs to produce the Impee are not as low as you imagine.

      First of all, Electric Imp is designed to match with a specific socket, that's not the cheapest on the market but must be used if want to be sure to have the same wireless performances.

      Then, you have to consider that is not a simple card reader, as the Imp requires a specific IC from Atmel to generate a unique ID.

      Finally, the market is not yet big enough for the Electric Imp to let companies like us investing on the mass production of thousands of Impee and this reflect on the costs.

      As I can see, Ada Industries announced on October 1st the release within one week of the Impee but I didn't see the product come out. And I can imagine why, as Electric Imp is for sure easy to adopt for the end user but is a little tricky for us, to make sure everything works fine.


    3. Missing avatar

      helder on

      @ Dimitri and JB, thanks for your info and help in clarifying things, but let me add some more information because finally i could talk with Hugo from ELECTRIC IMP and basically to be successful this wifi "service" they have to mark as a sweet price for all users around the globe finally in a simple manner can adventure into put and control many products, appliances etc... so it comes down to price indeed ...

      at this moment retail price, the cheapest wifi solution i found around would be $40 wifi including micro-controller (of course here you have to tweak a bit as is not the same easy IMP system - i think since i do not own or play with one yet)

      - from electric imp (inventor), they sell the april board at $7(is out stock and is not underpriced), the cost to make is $4 maybe even less if you do lots of quantities...
      - soon adafruit is going to sell the same board at $10
      - sparkfun is selling at a whooping $20 (that is a huge profit and feel quite disappointed, they are in for the quick buck)
      - smartduino sell at $12, for backers $9 (these are with the new smartduino bus connection)

      on top of that you need the IMP indeed at a price of $25, although the sparkfun is selling at $30.

      in summary Dimmitri you have done your home work again .... i would not expect less from you hheheh I agree, indeed is good value!!

      although at around $30 is not far from the normal price solution right now in the market!.-(

      what i would like to see is these prices coming down for a wifi connection to be no more than $10 (all package).. only then you can use it to put wifi in every product, lights, doors, appliances etc or am i wrong thinking that way?!

      i will today finalize my pledge Dimitri...heheh its hard not spending more money hhheh

    4. Dimitri Albino Creator on

      @helder, and thanks to @JB for the help with the additional information.

      I think at the very early stage, the guys at Electric Imp gave away to beta testers boards under priced, and I can understand this. For manufacturers and developers they also have free samples, like any other company willing to introduce a new technology has to.

      I can't find, with a simple search on Google, other resellers of the Imp, beside Sparkfun. I can see that they are selling good, for sure, because every time I check the stock is lower. They offer the Imp device, the one looking like a SD memory card, at 29,95$. If you want to use it, anywhere, you need a hosting board, like their shield or breakout board, costing another 19.95$. So you have to spend 50$ (minus ten cents) to have something working.

      What we did is to set these prices:

      - Electric Imp device only: street price US$ 29.00 (not offered now on the backers' pages)
      - smARtHOST IMPEE (SKU SMRTH316): street price US$12 (available from the backer's page at the discounted price of US$9
      - Kit including 1 Electric Imp + 1 smARtHOST IMPEE (SKU EIMPD001): street price US$35, offered to you guys at US$29

      - Kit including 2 Electric Imp + 2 smARtHOST IMPEE (SKU EIMPD002): street price US$70, offered to you guys at US$55

      So what you get with US$ 29.00 from your backer page is both the Electric Imp and the smARtHOST IMPEE, that allows you to plug the Imp in the system based on the smARtBUS Open I/O.

      This means work with smARtCOREs, as well as with Arduino, or freeSoC and so on.

      The Electric Imp has a core inside. Is an ARM3 and can interact with analog and digital I/Os over the smARtBUS Open I/O.

      This means that you don't necessary need a smARtCORE to have projects running. You can for example read an analog sensor directly from the Electric Imp and publish the results over the Internet.

      With some limitation, basically due to the lack of libraries, the Electric Imp can be a very easy and economic solution to add WiFi to most of the projects.

      To make it simple: with 29$ (as backer) you bring home what others give to you in exchange of fifty bucks ;-)


    5. JB Designs on

      @helder, the $29 is for an IMP as well as a Smarthost Impee. Just the host shows as $9 on my backer page. Basically if you buy the imp from here, you get the adapter board for free (and I haven't seen a 2 imp for $55 elsewhere, especially not with accessories.)

      Some of the collaborations as well as smARt boards here haven't made total sense to me, but this one seems to be a no brainer. The IMP seemed a little awkward on its own: SD form factor, but not really an SD card.. where do you use that? With all this stuff to plug in to, the cost now seems like it's a fraction of any other wifi connected device with this sort of flexibility.

    6. Missing avatar

      helder on

      wow, i was about to make final my pledges with 3 days to go but i have to hold yet... heheh will add several items to my original pledge heheh with these great news i need some clarification!

      i knew nothing about the IMP, but i must say the concept looks great and very promising ..... in the same wave as your proposed idea of having program without code....anyway, here i went consulting the official site and do a bit more research,
      and what i found is that Electric IMP sold the first batch of IMP boards at $7 (a true sweet price for anyone making "things" wifi connected) but further reading and looking into it, i read somewhere people making a point and saying why Sparkfun is selling at $19.95 when the board itself if manufactured somewhere in china would cost at a range of no more than $10... now i see here at kickstarter at $29 and whistles and bells just sounded loud.
      i see that your IMP module has value because it brings the smarthost compatibility to the all smartduino system but the cost seems that has left the sweet street spot in order to make this more acceptable of users.. as is a bit the cost of the sparkfun and your smarthost...

      please don't get me wrong Dimitri i love your dynamics and willingness to bring the best to the widest of users, and i do find appealing the IMP platform but i am having issues with it that you might elucidate me.

      - the IMP board you are selling is the breakout board which for using it we still have to buy the card costing around $25 from ELECTRIC IMP? and in this case for a wifi connection we would spend $29+$25+$smartcore of our choice= around $60 right?!

      - or is the full package which we can start to use and make "things" web connected straight out from the box?

      - does the IMP with smarhost has a core already?!

      Also and regarding the IMP platform i have also some questions, (i asked already to ELECTRIC IMP but without an answer yet maybe you know better and can explain me...)

      - if all the data on controlling "things" -devices through wifi on the web is passed to or held in the ELECTRIC IMP server, how reliable and secure can we have on our data?

      - controlling a small LED is very different than controlling a main entrance door or other real objects devices where these can be a threat or post some security or dangerous issues to people by their actions and interactions?

      - can anyone crack or use such information in order to get access to wifi controlled devices!?

      thanks and once again great job!!

    7. Dimitri Albino Creator on

      @JB, this is nothing, wait for few minutes :-) btw, I'm sure is all stuff the you need and will use in a very profitable way.

      @Federick, the best solution is for sure use a smARtHOST POWER PLUS. Note that the Imp require up to 400mA on the 3.3V when using the WiFi trasnmission.

      We will publish all the documentation as soon as possible but, as the material we are working on is not looking like the final product, we prefer to have first a final design.

      Thanks for your support,


    8. Frederick on

      Will we require smarhost power in order to power the imp, or can we power the smarthost impee directly ?
      Can we expect an picture/model/... of the smarthost impee ? Thanks!

    9. JB Designs on

      Why must you make me buy stuff I don't need?!
      I'll probably be in for 2 at that price.

    10. Dimitri Albino Creator on

      @punkman, because Kickstarter doesn't offer any kind of API, we need to manage the personal pages manually and this take some time.

      Thanks for your support,


    11. Missing avatar

      punkman on

      How do I order the Imp? I can't find this personal backer page you mention.

    12. Dimitri Albino Creator on

      @Jamie, the smARtHOST IMPEE that we will provide similar functions to the breakout board from Sparkfun but it will be fully integrated with the smARtBUS Open I/O.

      The product you linked require to do soldering and wiring to be connected to other components, our board will just be plug&play, like every other smARtHOST.

      You can find the solutions we propose in your personal backer's page.

      Thanks for your support,


    13. Jamie on

      I had a look on the imp page ( and it linked to a site to by boards ... it this what we are able to implement / use?

      I couldn't see anything for $29

    14. Dimitri Albino Creator on


      if you already have the Imp and you want to plug it on the smARtBUS Open I/O, you can find the smARtHOST IMPEE available in your personal page, separated from the kits that include the Imp.


    15. Bruce Segal

      Fantastic. Already being an imp developer its great to see more support for the platform. Lots of interesting things coming together in the next few months.