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Adafruit's Circuit Playground (Developer Edition) Review

Posted by Jason Robinson on

Adafruit's Circuit Playground (Developer Edition)Adafruit's Circuit Playground is a cost-effective way to dip your toe into the world of embedded electronics.  On-board sensors and switches allow for beginners to learn how to pull information from inputs without having to worry about wiring.  Ten Neopixels (RGB LEDs) allow for visually expressing sensor inputs or just being generally creative with color outputs.  This is a great board to start with and for $20 you can't argue with the value-for-money.

Best Suited For:

  • Beginners who can easily find and interpret documentation.
  • Wearables enthusiast looking for more power/bells/whistles than Adafruit Flora or Gemma.
  • Seasoned pros looking for a compact all-in-one solution.

Pros:

  • As expected, the documentation from Adafruit is exemplary.  The Arduino IDE library includes several code examples to get you started.
  • The price point is perfect for someone who is either on the fence with embedded electronics or is unsure of their skill.
  • Great launch point for getting into wearable tech projects.
  • Works with Codebender - a cloud based programming browser plugin.

Cons:

  • Circuit Playground sketches need to be modified when moving from Arduino IDE to Codebender or vice-versa.

Overall, we are incredibly pleased with the Circuit Playground.  We use it as the basis for our Intro to Wearables Workshop because its a plug-and-play environment that has inputs and outputs available with no soldering.  Once you get the hang of the library it becomes really easy to see just how powerful this board is and how much they fit onto this relatively small package.


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