Gadgeteer Prototyping

I gave an “Intro to Gadgeteer and Module Building” presentation to NashMicro last night and as always everyone left excited about their new found productivity tool. However, a new use case came up that I had never really directly considered that I thought I might pass along for you to keep in mind when talking to others about Gadgeteer.

A guy from the group has been developing a prototype for use with VR technology and he’s been keeping me up on his progress for the past few months and I’ve been helping him out with some ideas. Keep in mind this is a VC funded project with all intentions of becoming a patented commercial product within the next year. His expected BOM & size costs, and realtime requirements make it unlikely that NETMF will be the platform for the final product. However, he approached me after the presentation and asked to buy some of my items so that he could use them to expedite the build of his initial prototype that he’s using for his patent application.

When I think about Gadgeteer, I usually think of it as a first step in the prototype development of a product that will eventually be NETMF powered. But this guy reminded me that there are actually serious needs for prototypes where the final product may be intended to be something totally different but you still need to demonstrate your concept to others using the most productive tools for that purpose.

I’m embarrassed to say that because I was already intimately familiar with his project that I initially tried to talk him out of using Gadgeteer/NETMF when he told me what he wanted it for. He eventually convinced me that his intention was very appropriate and I was the one with my head in the sand. Although this all seems so obvious now, I thought I’d pass this along so that everyone is reminded that although Gadgeteer & NETMF may not make any sense at all for some projects from a cost/performance/size/whatever perspective for the end product, it may make perfect sense as a stepping stone to getting to that final product.