When we originally designed M2, we added a XBee®-compatible socket to the processor board to give you as many add-on options as possible. This has worked well for many projects, but it turns out many of you are just looking for a cheap way to add Bluetooth and WIFI.
Like everyone else, we have become big fans of the ESP32 - an inexpensive chip with tons of horsepower, built-in Bluetooth/WIFI AND a good community behind it. The only problem was that we couldn’t find it in an XBee® form-factor. So, over the last couple of months we have experimenting with different ways of building just that. Here is an earlier “discrete” prototype that uses the bare ESP32 IC and supporting components. It worked pretty well!
We sold and gave away a handful of these “Alpha” ESP32 boards to a few to people following along on the forum. We had some great feedback and rolled that into the next version. This time, we used the ESP32 “module” that comes with an FCC certification and RF shield. Somewhere along the line, we came up with the name “SuperB”. It’s a pretty simple board and we certainly see lots of applications for it. Wireless telematics, viewing live automotive data on your phone and starting your car remotely are common applications, however, we are really looking forward to the more innovative projects that explore what happens when your car is connected to your phone or the internet.
It would be pretty cool to wirelessly program M2 using the SuperB. We’ve even started dreaming up some crazy projects that would see us ditching the cords we keep tripping over when working on our cars. Also, it sure gets cold in the Minneapolis garage, and car hacking from the couch sure sounds nice these days.
We think you might agree, so our friends over at Crowd Supply are going to help us launch this one. Stop over and sign up to be notified when we launch. This will be pretty similar to our Kickstarter campaign where we send out a handful of beta units to all you rockstar developers right at the end of the campaign. We’ll take all of the initial feedback from the early adopters and try to roll that into the release version that will ship shortly after.
Thanks to everyone that has offered input on this project. Hopefully it’s one less cord to trip over in the garage.