Sunday, 4 May 2014

Simply simpie

I recieved a new device at the start of the weekend, it's a SimPie a handheld control that plugs into your pi via the gpio socket.

The SimPie has three buttons, RGB led and a buzzer that reminds me of hearing aid tests and no doubt some clever whizz kid will work out how to pwm it in a way that it's only audiable to kids.

It also comes with stickers so you can change the traffic light colour buttons to actually define things like yes, no or off. In fact you could even make your own stickers and labels for it.

The SimPie works on 8 gpio pins, buttons work on 17, 27, 22. RGB led on 18,23,24. The buzzer 4 and ground on Gnd

There is already being work to control fla pi birds in scratch with it while scratch gpio has been updated for SimPie.

So how hard is it to use? Not at all I was able to get the buzzer and led to light with a simple python script in minutes. There is also a couple of code examples over at and the possibilities are endless, at the top of my head I'm already thinking game controller, doorbell, twitter notifier/email sender. 

So now I've mentioned the great things what are the negatives? Well there is one negative, might be because its a prototype but a longer lead as I can see a child be holding it and when distracted turn round and send the pi for a fly.

The other thing would be a hook or clip on the back to hang SimPie up and no doubt by the finished design little things like that will be added.

You probably asking yourself is there room for this in an every popular pi assesory market place? Well yes it is large enough for use in a classroom, the buttons can be decorated and programmed for anything it has lights and sound and is ideal for projects that need that, obviously building your own circuit would be better, for learners starting out this could be the stepping platform into electronics. Those who have been into this sort of stuff for a while could use it quickly for a quick project that involves pressing a button etc safely.

This is certainly one to watch over the coming months and with it available in black, orange, purple and green there should be a colour for everyone except the really fussy.

So once again it looks like Cyntech have managed to plug the market with yet another great accessory for the pi.

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