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The team behind the Onion startup has introduced the next version of its Omega module and launched a new crowdfunding project on Kicksarter.
The project has attracted over 6,700 backers and has already exceeded its initial goal of $15,000, collecting more than $260,000. There are still 14 days left on the campaign.
The Omega 2 is a Linux powered mini computer developed for the Internet of Things. The device was created specifically for designing connected hardware applications.
The Kickstarter campaign for the original version was launched last year and turned very successful for Onion. At the time, the startup gained $267,851 from about 4,460 supporters.
Compared to the previous version, which was priced at $25, the new Omega 2 module cost starts at $5. The module was made smaller, what makes it easier to use in various DIY projects. It is less than 1/3 the size of the Arduino Uno, and less than 1/4 the size of the Raspberry Pi.
If compared to Raspberry Pi, which is leading the market at the moment, Omega 2 offers similar functionality. Meantime, it has such advantages as lower price and simplicity in use.
Speaking of Raspberry Pi, the latest version of the computer became available earlier this year. The Raspberry Pi board is also supported by the Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core, which was updated a few days ago.
The new Omega 2 features on-board flash storage and has built-in wi-fi (2.4GHz “1T1R” 802.11n). A new “Plus” option increases RAM to 128MB and flash to 32MB. Besides, it has a new microSD slot.
Thanks to running Linux, the module supports Python, Perl, C++, Node.js, BASH, Ruby, Lua and php programming languages. It is also integrated with the Onion Cloud, allowing users to remotely control it. “You can also view the status of your Omega2 in real-time, and deploy software updates to it when it is in the field,” the company wrote.
The module is compatible with all Omega expansions and docks. Onion now has a mini dock, power dock, expansion dock, Arduino dock, OLED expansions, PMW expansions, modulation units, relay expansions, Bluetooth, Ethernet, audio jacks, gps and proto expansions. The price of Onion expansions ranges between $5 and $15.
The startup offers a variety of Linux apps that can interact with the Omega 2. Besides, the company has an App Store with more apps available. There is also an SDK allowing developers to create new apps and publish them on the Onion App Store.
The Omega 2 computer can be used by students, artists, and engineers in a wide range of applications, including digital art installation, a pressure sensor activated lamp, networking, streaming music, a wireless media server, robotics and an impromptu Wi-Fi range extender.
The project is planned to be financed on August 23, while the first units are expected to be shipped at the end of November.