About this project
Ω We've Been Featured On
Ω What Is The Onion Omega?
The Onion Omega is a hardware development platform
designed specifically for software developers.
Ω Stretch Goals!
Thank you so much for the amazing support! We have gotten amazing responses for the Omega, and we've decided to add in a few stretch goals :) If we hit hit a stretch goal, we will be adding the corresponding item with each Omega we ship.
For example, if you ordered the Inventor Kit and we hit $400,000, you will be receiving 2 Mini Docks and 2 Cases with your rewards.
Ω Full Linux Environment
The Onion Omega's powerful processor is capable of running the full Linux operating system. This means you can install OpenCV with a single command to add image recognition capabilities to your drone. You can use git to check out the latest changes your colleagues made to the coffee brewer. You can use pip or npm to incorporate libraries that allow your thermostat to talk to Twitter. The Onion Omega provides you with familiar tools that reduces learning curve and enhances your productivity in hardware development.
Ω Python, Node.JS, PHP, and
Other High-Level Programming Languages
Ω Seamless Cloud Integration
The Onion Omega is fully integrated with the Onion Cloud. This means that the Omega can interact with the myriad of Web services available and can also communicate with other Internet connected devices. In addition, the Onion Cloud allows the Omega to be accessed anywhere in the world quickly and securely through our highly customizable RESTful APIs. Building applications that interacts with the physical world has never been easier. The Onion Cloud is free for non-commercial use.
Ω Onion Console
The Onion Console is a virtual desktop to help you manage connected devices such as the Omega. It runs in your browser or as an app on your smartphone, and it provides you with the familiar GUI environment and applications when working with embedded devices. The Onion Console makes the Omega easy to work with even if you don't have any Linux experience.
Ω Onion Apps For Hardware Devices
We love the simplicity of installing apps on a smartphone, so we created the Onion App Store to make reprogramming the Onion Omega as simple as installing an app. The Omega is always connected, so reprogramming can take place anywhere and at any time. And since the Omega runs a multi-tasking operating system, it can be configured to run multiple programs simultaneously. The Onion App Store is open for everyone to share their creations to the world, and it even takes care of automatic updates and dependency management.
Ω Open Source
We are strong believers of open source and we strive to give back to the open source community. All hardware schematics, board design, and bill of materials will be made available to the community. In addition, the operating system and other system software on the Omega, as well as an API compatible version of the Onion Cloud, will be open sourced. Communications between the Omega and the Onion Cloud use open standards, which will allow you to hack and customize your Omega to your heart’s content.
Ω What Can You Do With Onion Omega?
We designed the Onion Omega to make it easy for everybody to create connected devices. Here are some of the stuff we came up with. Click on the demos below and head over to the Onion LiveLab to play around with these things in real time!
In addition, because the Omega is so versatile, here are some of the things you can make without building any hardware:
- WiFi Range extender
- Network Storage & File Server
- Network Security Camera
Ω Hardware Specifications
- Dimensions: 28.2mm x 42mm (1.1" x 1.7")
- CPU: Atheros AR9331 400MHZ MIPS 24K
- RAM: 64MB DDR2 400MHz
- Flash: 16MB
- WiFi: 802.11b/g/n 150Mbps
- Ethernet: 100Mbps
- GPIO: 18
- USB: USB 2.0, Supports additional USB Hub
- Power: 3.3V
- Antenna: PCB Antenna w/ uFL Connector
- Power Consumption: 0.6W
THE DOCK exposes commonly used interfaces, such as USB, power supply, RGB LED, push buttons on the Omega, and makes it easy to connect additional modules to your project.
EXPANSIONS can be plugged into the Dock to add additional capabilities to your Omega. Currently, we have 4 expansions prototyped and tested, and will be adding more to the collection in the coming weeks! Expansions are $15 each, just choose whatever your heart desires and add the appropriate amount to your pledge.
Just in case you were wondering... Yes, the expansions are STACKABLE!
ARDUINO DOCK allows the Omega to become compatible with your existing Arduino shields. So if you have existing projects built using the Arduino, upgrading it to the Omega is a piece of cake! The dock is $15 each, just add the amount to your pledge.
SERVO DOCK is great for controlling up to 16 servo motor simultaneously. We are in the process of redesigning the servo dock as a servo expansion, therefore the servo dock won't be available for sale. Just add $15 to your pledge amount and you will receive the new servo as expansion.
Ω The Story Behind Onion Omega
We came up with the idea for Onion Omega when we were attempting to build a connected thermal-printer that's integrated with Evernote so that we can print physical copies of our notes and todo lists. It took us a little over a week to complete this project using an Arduino and ethernet shield, and we noticed three things that we wished could have been different:
- As web developers, we weren't terribly productive in C/C++.
- Updating the firmware was a lot of work, especially when we were trying to fix the little bugs after the thermal-printer has been setup.
- It took a lot of hacking to get the Arduino to talk to Evernote. Bare metal devices like the Arduino are not optimized for Web.
Frustrated with how inconvenient it was to create such a simple project, we were determined to make hardware development easier and more accessible to those of us with limited hardware experience. After much thought, we decided to create a development platform that has:
- Built-in integration with the cloud.
- Support for multiple (high-level) programming languages.
- Firmware upgrade procedure that's as easy as git push.
Multi-tasking, so it can perform multiple tasks simultaneously without needing to switch between firmwares.
We got to work and started doing research on various development platforms on the market. Here were a few things we saw and really liked:
- Linux on the Raspberry Pi - As web developers, we love the huge selection of development tools available on Linux.
- Raspberry Pi's package management system - It simplifies installing new software packages to just one command.
- Arduino's shield system - it made it very easy to extend hardware capabilities.
Spark Core's built-in WiFi connectivity and very simple to use Web-IDE, cross-compile environment and deployment workflow.
With these great platforms in mind, we set off on the journey to build our very own awesome-sauce development platform - The Onion Omega!
Ω Who Are We?
Onion... yes, that is our company name. "Apple" was apparently taken so we settled on the next best name. We’re a team of philosophers, artists and engineers who simply love to build things. Our vision is to create the invention platform that will empower the "Internet of Things" generation. Our team of 6 is spread over Boston, Toronto and Shenzhen.
The core team consists of:
BOKEN aka The Ninja. Armed with ub3r hax0r software dev skills and a sharp business mind, Boken ensures the team is energized, focused and pumping out awesome unicorn-like hardware and code.
ZHENG aka The Architect. Zheng is the technical maestro behind Onion. He abstracts and orchestrates the entire operation from envisioning the future to making atoms obey his wishes and form physical embodiment of awesomeness.
FRANCIS aka The Wordsmith. Intensely researches the Interwebs (more specifically Reddit) to discover how to make things go viral and stay viral, so far the answer has been: cats. Gifted with the exceptional ability to use the English language to make you go "hmm this is kinda witty" and smirk, Francis has not yet been able to impregnate with only well-placed highly-potent romantic words, but a man can try. A man can try.
FC aka The Maker. An engineering mastermind. FC designs hardware like it's a fine work of art and ensures manufacturers replicate his art with absolute nano precision.
Ω Help Us Help You
The prototypes for the Onion Omega and accessories are fully functional and ready for production! We need your help to complete compliance testing and certification as well as to scale up the production of the Omega so we can help to make hardware development more affordable and more accessible to everyone.
More importantly, we need your help to create a better, more connected world. We are in the beginning of this enormous tech revolution called the "Internet of Things" and your creativity will fuel the next generation of consumer and business products. Your creations will define the way we live and work in the coming decades. You see? This goes beyond just our geeky desires to create beer fetching robot spiders… it’s about the entire human race and future generations. Won’t you just think of the children??
Come to think of it.. the beer fetching robot spider will most likely benefit mankind too, so get yourself an Onion Omega and start inventing!
Ω The Goods
À La Carte Components
If you would like to order additional components to your existing reward, simply add the appropriate amount to your pledge, and we'll be more than happy to accommodate your needs :)
Ω Spread The Good Word!
Thanks for checking us out! We'd love it if you can spread the word about Onion Omega so a friend or family can start making the awesome things they've always wanted to!
Support us on:
- Reddit - http://www.reddit.com/r/kickstarter/comments/30xp48/onion_omega_hardware_dev_chip_platform_designed
- SlashDot - http://slashdot.org/submission/4310047/onion-omega---tiny-linuxwifi-dev-board-designed-for-software-developers
- Hacker News - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9296611
- Stumbleupon - http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2xWG3L/qG$DdPk8:WNMB12zp/onion.io
Thanks for your support!
Ω Stay Connected & Updated On All The Best Of IoT
Risks and challenges
We have fully functional prototypes of the Onion Omega and we have a team of uber-smart engineers in Boston, Toronto and Shenzhen - who are working around the clock to ensure that we can build a great product and deliver it on time. However, like many Kickstarter projects, there are a number of risks and challenges that we need to mitigate before we can get the Omegas to each one of you. We would like to keep you informed of these potential pitfalls and what we are doing to circumvent them.
First off, there are risks associated with the manufacturing of any hardware product. The process of mass production is very different than that of prototype development. A tremendous amount of effort will be expended to ensure that the assembly line can produce the Omega reliably. Fortunately, we have an office in Shenzhen, where the manufacturing of the Omega takes place and we have forged great working and personal relationships with our manufacturing partners to ensure that the manufacturing process will happen smoothly.
Secondly, there are risks associated with the logistics to physically deliver the Omega to you. Because this will be the very first time we are shipping the Omega, it is difficult for us to estimate the volume of product we will be sending, as well as their destinations. This will affect the accuracy of the delivery dates. To help overcome this challenge, we have been working closely with one of our advisors who has over 10 years of experience retailing electronic products to customers worldwide. With his help, we have been building relationships with our fulfillment partners to ensure speedy and reliable delivery of the Omega into your hands.
Last but not least, we want you to know this: what we value the most is our relationship with you, our supporters. As a result, you have our word that we will remain completely transparent and keep you in the loop every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
All traffic between the Omega and the Onion Cloud are encrypted with SSL. In addition, access to each device on the Onion Cloud is controlled by a permission-based authentication system that allows devices to be shared between multiple users securely.
Nope, that's not a typo. 16MB of flash is the correct amount.
In embedded hardware it's quite common to have RAM larger than flash storage. This in in contrast with what we are typically used to in personal computers and smartphones because they are designed to run media-heavy applications and therefore needs the extra storage for video or images. For most embedded hardware applications, the 16MB of flash on the Omega is more than adequate. However if you do find yourself needing extra storage (i.e. to store the video captured from an IP camera), you can always plugin additional USB storage devices through the USB port.
Absolutely. We see a lot of value in providing integration with the Onion Cloud, but we also understand that not everyone share our values. So the Onion Cloud (or any other cloud integration) is entirely optional. Disabling integration with the cloud is a matter of running a single command in the terminal.
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