Netduino acquired by Wilderness Labs

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Wilderness Labs has acquired the Netduino brand of programmable microcontroller boards from Secret Labs. The acquisition, which happened back in December had been kept confidential while Wilderness Labs rebuilt the supply chain and made major improvements to the platform along with creating a new developer portal to enable software developers to prototype and build hardware projects.

I think that a key to powering the connected things revolution will be to enable existing developers to build connected hardware. I want to demystify this space and enable hardware to be developed with the speed and ease of software.

Wilderness Labs announced today that they have acquired the Netduino brand from Secret Labs. The acquisition, which took place in December of 2016, had been kept under wraps while Wilderness Labs (a previously stealth startup, founded by Bryan Costanich, a former Xamarin executive, and creator of Xamarin University) readied Netduino’s relaunch.

Netduino, which was originally launched in 2010 by Secret Labs, is an open source, connected things prototyping board aimed at the maker community that runs applications built with Microsoft’s .NET Microframework. Netduino earned a loyal following as a powerful prototyping platform that that is pin compatible with existing Arduino shields and peripherals, but could be programmed using high level languages like C#.

“It took a while to rebuild the supply chain, production line, and distribution; we were doing this all from scratch, there wasn’t anything left,” said Bryan Costanich, CEO and cofounder. Secret Labs made headlines in 2013 by running what was, at the time, the most successful kickstarter campaign ever, for the Agent Watch; a programmable smartwatch that was build on the .Net Microframework. The watch was never delivered, however, when troubles with the watch case designer and manufacturer arose.

“I always really liked Netduino, and would have been sad to see it go; it was more powerful than Arduino, and you could program it using a modern framework and development environment, so you got to take advantage of C#’s threading, debugging, etc.” Bryan said. “And now, even with things like Raspberry Pi, I think there’s still a big market for a low power, .Net connected things prototyping platform. Imagine trying to run a Raspberry Pi off of a battery; you can do it, but it’s not very practical, and it’s missing key features like analog inputs.”

Wilderness Labs acquired the Netduino brand for an undisclosed sum and is working on a next generation connected things platform that includes a spiritual successor to Netduino. “I learned a lot about developer platforms in helping build Xamarin, and I think we’re at the very beginning of the connected things revolution. There’s a whole class of products that have yet to be developed, and it won’t be too long until everything is connected. Things like Nest and Ring are just the beginning.” Bryan noted.

Not surprisingly, developer education and enablement is a priority for Wilderness Labs, and they’ve launched a brand new developer portal that includes not only Netduino documentation and tutorials, but also documentation and tutorials about electronic circuits and will include further updates about the practicals of designing and manufacturing connected things.

“I think that a key to powering the connected things revolution will be to enable existing developers to build connected hardware. I want to demystify this space and enable hardware to be developed with the speed and ease of software,” Bryan said.

To learn more about Wilderness Labs, view the company’s blog.

About Wilderness Labs

Founded in 2016, Wilderness Labs is the manufacturer of Netduino boards, and is working on a next generation connected things developer platform.

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