Pinoccio ships first orders of microcontroller technology

There is a saying about electronic startups that deal more in hardware than software and the difficulty of the task. One Ann Arbor-based venture is learning about that right now.

"The cliche is hardware is hard," says Sally Carson, co-founder & CEO of Pinoccio. "That's definitely true."

But it's far from impossible. That's something that Pinoccio is proving right now. The startup is shipping the first units of its wireless, web-ready microcontroller, which is about the size of your thumb. The technology comes equiped with WiFi, a LiPo battery and a built-in radio, which allows users to send commands to the microcontroller over the Internet from their laptop. Check out a video about it here.

Carson and Eric Jennings began developing this technology a little more than a year ago. They launched a crowdfunding campaign with a goal to raise $60,000. They raised $105,000, which allowed them to ship 2,500 microcontrollers to 700 funders. The recepeints are mostly makers and hobbyists, but with a few other notable exceptions.

"We are also finding interest in other product designers and people who want to use Pinoccio in their hardware," Carson says.

That success has allowed Pinoccio to expand its staff to eight people after adding six in the last year. The company, which uses the tagline "Building the Internet of things," plans to take more orders for its microcontroller this spring and ship them later this summer.

Source: Sally Carson, co-founder & CEO of Pinoccio
Writer: Jon Zemke

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