The second annual imp invasion of Bay Area Maker Faire concluded a few days ago, and it was a blast! For two days, the San Mateo Event Center was overrun by thousands of enthusiasts from the maker community, who navigated the grounds alongside an eclectic collection of robots, steampunks, art bikes, fireballs and more wonders than we could count – sort of like a sanitized version of Burning Man without the heat and dust storms!


The biggest hit at the Electric Imp booth was our imp-enabled candy machine. Faire-goers were able to feed their collective sweet tooth by dispensing candy through a web page accessed from their smartphones. Over the course of the weekend we served up an astonishing 40 pounds (that’s about 2,600 servings!) of M&Ms. It was such a success that we have decided to post an Instructables for the build (stay tuned – it’ll be coming soon).


But Maker Faire was a lot more than just dispensing M&Ms.

One year on from announcing the Electric Imp platform, we were able to see first hand the impact it has had on the maker community. From hackers to digital artists, professional inventors and practically everyone in-between, we’re seeing more and more fascinating imp-enabled projects every day.

As a board game and D&D geek, a project that really stood out for me was @duppy’s Electric Dice, which wirelessly post dice rolls online. There’s a pretty big divide between physical games and interactive games, and I only know of a few companies that are trying to find ways of bridging that gap. It’s great to see hobbyist makers getting in on the scene as well. Very cool!

We also happily gave away a stylish Electric Imp t-shirt (and t-shirts to many other folks who dropped by our booth to show off their imp-enabled inventions) to an industrious – and apparently very busy – maker named Andre, who turned up with an imp’d sprinkler controller, an imp’d motor controller, an imp-to-four-kinds-of-RF gateway board, and an SMT imp’d camera board that looked way more complex than the imp does. Wow.

The interest and positive feedback didn’t stop at makers who have played with the imp before. We spoke with a very inspiring woman who came to Maker Faire to, “Get ideas for a Kickstarter-funded business,” but after seeing the imp, concluded, “Now I’m thinking of something based on the imp.“ Awesome! Proof that you never know where the next great idea will come from.

Ultimately, the most satisfying part of Maker Faire was watching people’s eyes light up when they realized how easy and inexpensive it is to build connected things with the imp. We saw a lot of folks leave our booth inspired by the new possibilities the imp opened to them and determined to build connected hardware.

So, thanks to all of you who stopped by to say hello during the weekend. We really enjoyed meeting you! As always, we continue looking forward to seeing all of the great things you build with the imp.

And don’t forget: If you have an imp-enabled device you want to share, please post it on our forums or send us a message. We want to make sure everyone in the imp community has a chance to see your awesome work.

Finally, as a special bonus to t-shirt fans and folks who could not attend Maker Faire, post a video to the Electric Imp YouTube Channel prior to midnight PDT June 5, 2013 of an imp-enabled device you have created and our five favorite entries will receive an Electric Imp t-shirt and other imp goodies!


Matt Haines
Developer Relations Evangelist