Apple's infamous "there's an app for that" marketing campaign for the iPhone may have been something of an exaggeration in its claims to solve all the world's ills, but with the popularity of smartphones showing no real decline it's fair to say they're an interesting target for development. A fully-functional PC in your pocket featuring a high-resolution full-colour display and internet connectivity, smartphones are often underutilised in embedded projects - something Pasha Baiborodin's Blynk aims to solve. Currently half-way through a Kickstarter crowd-funding process with more than double its $10,000 goal, Blynk looks to add drag-and-drop Arduino sketch development to Android and iOS devices - both smartphones and tablets. The concept is neat: 'widgets' can be placed anywhere on the screen, and used to read from or write to the Arduino's pins over an internet connection using an Ethernet Shield, Wi-Fi Shield or compatible network-enabled Arduino device. While there are aspects of the project we're not so enthusiastic about - it's closed-source, which is always a negative, and will come with a small subset of widgets and in-app purchases required to unlock additional features - we can't deny that it's a clever melding of Arduino and smartphone technology.
Imagine a prototyping board on your smartphone where you drag and drop buttons, sliders, displays, graphs and other functional widgets. And in a matter of minutes these widgets can control Arduino and get data from it.