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Topic: Feeling interest for a WiFi shield (Read 79234 times) previous topic - next topic


I would be extremely interested in a WiFi shield for the Arduino.  I've been thinking about controlling the Arduino with an iPhone/iPod Touch both with commands and perhaps scripting.


Maybe I'm crazy, but the idea of spending 2 to 8 times (Arduino at 34, raw parts cost $10)  as much $ for the shield as for the base makes me makes me think that any such application would be better served by a much more powerful and slightly more expensive microcontroller.  Of course makershed is selling an OLED shield for $150, so I guess someone is buying the stuff.

I think that you will have tremendous pricing pressure;  I think that what's cool about the Arduino is that at 30 bucks it can be an "impulse buy" for a lot of working engineers, and is also an affordable uC in educational settings.

Even XBee is pretty expensive once you buy both the module and the shield...

What I'd love to see is an inexpensive solution, less than $25.  Just a guess but maybe using the same technology as radio TV remote controls -- those are probably produced pretty cheaply.  It probably wouldn't be standards compliant so then also sell an "ethernet dongle" that converts the radio signal (coming from multiple arduinos) to IP.


Mar 16, 2009, 02:29 am Last Edit: Mar 16, 2009, 02:33 am by YPort Reason: 1
About the price, I agree with vxir - it has to be reasonable for more
people to adapt it. If it costs you $10, then selling it less than $30 will
make me happy.

But if you look at ethernet shield, it is sold on sparkfun for $45, and
you could guess  material cost be around $10, so sparkfun is too
agressive on the pricing ?  I don't think so - it all depends on volume.
If sparkfun sells million units of this, you may even see price less than 10.
I don't need Greenspan to tell me this. LOL

I don't want to judge the price of wifi shield, market will tell.
In the other way, I am happy to see wifi shield starts to appear -
even if someone makes a shield using a $69 wifly. Our community
needs more cool staff.


I would be interested in at least one, how many of the Arduino pins are still open for use?



I agree with everybody that price is a concern, and believe me, it's heavily driving my design decisions as well as my profit margins.  I want to do this project so badly that I'm willing to sacrifice the amount of money I can make just to get it out to the community.

Unfortunately, since we are only talking low volume sales, it's hard for me to get the rock bottom pricing for the components.  I'm sure that if I went to a supplier with a million unit order every year for the next 3 years, they would give me a really, really good price.  Trying to only purchase one or two thousand components, while still significant to me and my severely depleted savings account, is not significant to the supplier, and thus, the price isn't that great.

There are a lot of hidden costs that go into a lot of wireless devices.  You have to pay money to have your device certified by the appropriate regulatory agency in multiple regions of the world.  With regard to WiFi, you pay additional money to have your device WiFi certified.  All these costs get included in the cost of the ASICs and modules, and are then passed down to the regular guys like you and me.  Some of the bigger companies in WiFi (Atheros, Broadcom, Marvell) don't even want to talk to you or show you the spec unless you pay big money up front and are able to commit to have huge purchase orders.  So that only leaves the smaller guys as being "Arduino friendly" suppliers.

Anyway, my point is not to create a sob story.  I'm willing to take a hit and get my shield out for little to no gain on my end.  I just hope that it's helpful to others, and that my sales funnel will turn from a drip, to a trickle, to a gushing stream later.  :)  If that happens, I can guarantee there will be more useful wireless products coming out at very competitive prices.

As far as my shield, I'm hoping to have some demo videos created this week, along with more information on the operation and specifications of what you can do.  I'm hoping to have the shield ready for general availability by the middle of April.  And I apologize in advance  if I don't get it done this week.  Currently, I'm CEO, CFO, CTO, VP of Engineering, head of IT, and individual contributor for this venture, not to mention my normal full time engineering job, as well as being dad to my 18 month old running around my house at home.  So bear with me and stay tuned...  8-)


As far as pin count goes, my shield uses the 4 SPI lines, INT0, power and ground.  All the other pins will be brought up from the Arduino for use by the end user.


I'd be interested in one if it was in the $40-$60US range.

Ran Talbott

I want to add my voice to those wanting "stacking" headers.

If you don't want to risk proliferation of models,  at least offer one with no headers installed,  so people can install their own:  it's very likely that people would want to combine the WiFi shield with one or more others carrying sensors or outputs to be read/controlled via WiFi.



Mar 19, 2009, 09:22 am Last Edit: Mar 19, 2009, 09:34 pm by asynclabs Reason: 1
All the pins on the Arduino will be pulled up to the top, so that everybody can put whatever other sensors/dodads/gizmos on top without having to whip out the soldering iron. :)

I've created a couple of videos, but so far YouTube has only been able to process one of them, so here it is:


Again, this is only our prototype board we had made.  The final board will have:
- female header receptacles on the top side
- male header pins on the bottom to connect directly to the Arduino
- full silkscreen, ground plane, and a nicer color than the drab light green we currently have :)

As a recap, you'll get 802.11b wireless access, with full support for encryption (WEP, WPA/2, TKIP/AES).  The shield will be able to connect to an access point (infrastructure mode) or create it's own network (adhoc mode).  You'll be able to put the TCP/IP stack on the Arduino, so it can serve out it's own webpages (like in the videos I've posted). More likely though, I would imagine the biggest use of this would be as some sort of environment sensing device, so it wouldn't necessarily need to serve a webpage, but rather just send back some data from a sensor.

The timeframe is looking like end of April to early May.  I hope to have my website and storefront up by then, along with lots of documentation to help users get up and running quickly.

** Edit **
Here's another video showing the Arduino and WiFi shield operating in adhoc mode, using the Arduino to wirelessly control a TV and DVD player.  Note that the delay in seeing anything happen is because my TV and DVD player are ancient and take a while to turn on.  The delay between the time you hit the button on the iPod and the time it sends the IR code is very small.



Very impressive - tally another sure buy for me.


Mar 19, 2009, 10:11 pm Last Edit: Mar 19, 2009, 10:52 pm by tkj Reason: 1
Sounds very interesting!
I would be interested in buying one of these :)
But do you have any expected date when the first revision will be available?


I hope to have shields available late April to early May.  I wish I could be a little more specific, but I'm at the whim of my supplier who is still getting everything organized.


Great to hear this.  I saw your videos on youtube. I am very excited about the web server and the adhoc networking. Question: will their be access to the web server? If it's open hardware, does that make the software in the device open software.


Everything will be open source.  There are 3 main components to this project.  First is the hardware.  Second is the low level 802.11 driver, which will handle things such as the SSID name, security, etc.  The third component will be the TCP/IP stack.  Currently we've written a very small stack to do the very basic items that we need it to do for testing and creating demos.  The hope is that once everything is in the wild, the community will modify and develop as necessary, sharing as they go along.  And of course, we'll always be helping everybody as well.


I am definitely interested in one.  I have always wondered why wireless devices have not had more interest.

Personally I would be very happy with an 802.11b shield at a reasonable price... even without encryption... I'm really not worried about someone snooping data from my wireless weather station ;) and I have several old routers, so I could add an access point for this device and lock it down by mac pretty easily.

count me in!

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