The team behind 1Sheeld (Amr Saleh, Eslam Ali and Islam Mustafa) are set to release a new development board for building blockchain-connected devices in the same fashion as you would using an Arduino. Known as Elk, the board allows you to take your projects and interface them with Swarm, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Whisper, Status IM, and a host of other decentralized technologies.
Not much is known about the board’s hardware, other than it has a dual-core 32-bit MCU, a 1GHz microprocessor (512Mb RAM/4Gb storage) with the OS preloaded, a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi module (with embedded antenna), a micro SD card slot, a micro USB port, and breadboard-compatible pins. There are plenty of I/Os (3.3V and 5V tolerant), along with several buttons and LEDs.
According to its creators, Elk will come bundled with a plug-and-play, Arduino-like SDK that provides an intuitive interface for those decentralized platforms and will offer a development experience 10X more seamless for building blockchain-connected projects.
Since the SDK is Arduino-based, the board can be used with most shields and other Arduino add-on boards as well. It’s expected that the SDK will be open source, and additional support will be added for decentralized technologies as they become available.
Potential applications for the Elk include building platforms that enable you to send and accept cryptocurrencies, such as a homebrew ATM or even vending machines, design privatized communications systems, or create IoT devices that let you upload sensor data to Swarm or IPFS. Of course, since the board uses an Arduino-compatible SDK, it should allow you to take advantage of all supporting libraries.
“What intrigues us about the domains of blockchain and decentralization is how quickly they’re evolving, and likely the use-cases that people will build with Elk and find most valuable won’t be use-cases that come to mind for us today. Past projects we’ve built include an electric socket that can be rented with Ethereum, a treadmill that accepts Bitcoin deposits that you can only get back when you work out, and serverless home automation systems that respects your privacy using the Whisper messaging protocol. The possibilities are truly endless.”
The team is set to crowdfund the Elk blockchain development board on Kickstarter at some point in June, and there is no word yet on price, but it’s a safe bet there will be early bird specials or discounts. Those interested can sign up for email updates on the Elk.cc website.
It should also be noted that Elk will be hosting a Blockchain for IoT Bootcamp, where users can attend a series of live seminars that will share helpful information on decentralized protocols, coding, and projects using the development board. The webinars are set to begin on June 16th, and will continue for the next two Sundays, culminating on June 30th. For those that can’t attend the Blockchain IoT Bootcamp, Elk will host the material on their community platform, which you can access at any time to meet your schedule.