Arduino.cc has announced another new entry in the Genuino family, designed to combine Arduino functionality with in-built Wi-Fi connectivity. It's called the Genuino MKR1000, and to celebrate its unveiling the company is giving away a thousand of them in collaboration with Hackster.io and Microsoft.
Designed to help Arduino.cc compete with devices like the Particle Photon and NodeMCU, the Genuino MKR1000 - which will launch in the US as the Arduino MKR1000, as with previous Genuino-branded products - is designed around the Atmel ATSAMW25 SmartConnect platform. The idea is that it takes away the complexities of connecting to a Wi-Fi network and authenticating with remote servers, allowing makers to do what they do best: concentrate on building something. Like its rivals, the Genuino MKR1000 is designed in a 'stick of gum' shape which combines breadboard compatibility with a small layout - but does, sadly, sacrifice compatibility with standard Arduino Shields in the process.
The Genuino MKR1000 isn't due to launch until February 2016, but Arduino.cc is working to build up hype with a competition: 1,000 boards will be given away to entrants in the Arduino Maker Challenge, a competition organised by Hackster.io and sponsored by Arduino.cc and Microsoft. Those aren't the only prizes, though: the three best projects submitted to the contest will be awarded a fully-funded trip to Maker Faire Shenzhen, New York, or Rome where they'll present their creation at the Microsoft and Arduino.cc booths and be filmed doing so by our friends at Adafruit - and they'll get a $500 gift certificate to spend, too.
Interested parties have until the 15th of January to submit their projects, which should make use of both Arduino.cc hardware and Microsoft's Windows 10 platform - the first operating system to receive official Arduino Certification. More details are available from the official website.