Liquidware Announces an Open Source Android Development Kit

Canton, MA (PRWEB) October 21, 2010

Liquidware, a leading open source engineering firm based in Boston, MA announced on Tuesday the availability of an open source hardware Android development platform. The Android Modular Gadget Platform is the first commercially available modular development kit based entirely on open source software and hardware reference designs. The Android Modular Gadget Platform is designed for rapid prototyping Android systems. The gadget platform is designed around 5 main modules, each of which can connect directly to each other to facilitate rapid development. Those modules include an organic LED (OLED) touchscreen, a high performance ARM carrier board, an extended capacity lithium ion battery, USB hub, and wireless G card module. When combined, these modules create a fully networked Android gadget capable of running any and all APK Android app files.

In 2010, Android grew from a small cell phone operating system into the preferred operating system for consumer and industrial design development. Today, thousands of hardware engineers and software developers have made Android their platform of choice for end-user applications.

Google's own development platform, the Nexus, was launched in 2008, and saw tremendous popularity amongst software developers. Since then, however, few development kits have been developed and launched.

"This presented a major problem for Android development," said Justin Huynh in an interview on Tuesday. "The current Android devices on the market are designed for software only applications. They're not designed to integrate into third party sensors, industrial control and automation systems, or medical devices."

"We built the Android Modular Gadget Platform to cater to rapid prototyping engineers and developers looking for the absolute fastest way to get a product proof-of-concept functional."

While Android has enjoyed rapid growth and successful adoption in the marketplace, it faces steep competition from Apple's iPad and iPhone operating system, as well as the newly announced Microsoft Windows 7 Mobile platform. However, Android's operating system is the only open source system, and therefore developers are choosing it over the proprietary options from Apple and Microsoft due to the availability of lost cost and free compilers and development tool chains.

"At Liquidware, we believe in the power of Open Source. Our customers are sophisticated, high end developers and advanced systems engineers. They demand the best, and most efficient tools available. Today, nothing beats a 100% fully open source development stack, which we're proud to deliver in the Android Modular Gadget Platform."

In the past, consumer gadget development platforms were delivered using closed source, proprietary systems. These cost $1,000-2,000 in software alone, and frequently ran on a limited subset of hardware. The integrated development environment was often error-prone, and buggy, and hardware development took months. Today, open source software tool chains and open source hardware reference designs have reduced out-of-pocket software costs to $100-200, and dropped hardware development timelines from months to weeks.

About Liquidware

Liquidware is one of the fastest growing engineering firms, specializing in high speed, lower power embedded systems product design, rapid prototyping of medical devices, parallel systems, and defense engineering.

Liquidware is also one of the most widely recognized organizations of Open Source Hardware hackers. Based in Boston, MA, Liquidware has three primary lines of business: high end medical device development, defense systems engineering, and Open Source Hardware design. Liquidware's hardware has been used by some of the world's leading research institutions, consumer product firms, and is deployed in field operations worldwide.

OMAP and Beagle Board are trademarks of Texas Instruments. ARM is a trademark of ARM Limited. All
other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Editorial Contact for Liquidware
Justin Huynh
Liquidware, Press Manager
(646) 835-9728

Read more:

Introducing the DIY Android Gadget Starter Kit

This past weekend, Chris and I hacked Android onto the Beagleboard Embedded Gadget Pack. It was the culmination of about 3 weeks worth of working straight through, sleeping very little, and consuming many ASCII bunsen burner Red Bull's :-) The result is the DIY Android Gadget Starter Kit, which includes everything anyone would want or need to get started programming Android hardware and software applications, and to make a custom Android device.

Here's a picture of the Android DIY kit assembled:
The DIY Android Modular Gadget development kit uses the same base modules as the Open SciCal, which got written up on Wired (thanks!), and also as the Embedded Beagleboard Gadget Pack, which has been really popular with embedded systems engineers:
This is a nice perspective shot of the Android home menu, where the apps are typically stored and can be launched. The settings menu and options are fully functional, and the system comes preloaded with SL4A, a high performance scripting language that lets programmers write GUI's in Perl or Python (and a handful of other scripting languages):
Justin uploaded all of the modules, components, and preprogrammed SD cards onto the Liquidware shop over here... and here.

Source : Antipastohw

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