As growing numbers of hobbyists and makers tinker with today’s technology, more electronics companies are meeting their makers.
By Amy Goetzman
Technology is everywhere. The Internet of Things (IoT) is touching every aspect of our lives. The line between virtual reality and the real world is blurring. For most users, engagement in this evolution is limited to plugging things in and tapping icons to activate functions. For a growing subset of consumers, however, merely using technology isn’t enough. These users also want to understand how electronics work and employ their principles in original designs. This category largely centers on the large and important student market, but a growing number of hobbyists — or makers, as some like to be called — are experimenting with the unlimited design potential electronics offer the creative mind.
Electronics companies and distributors are paying attention. New offerings, from maker kits to special websites that let hobbyists buy exactly the right connector, are making it easier for consumer and educational buyers to access professional-grade parts and even the technical support they need to specify the components their designs require.
One company that has embraced the maker movement is Newark element14. As the largest distributor of Raspberry Pi in North America, the company recognized that this affordable, portable, and highly versatile single-board computer has broad appeal for hobbyists and students. Th