Microchip Technology has released an accessory development starter kit for Android and announced another one. Both kits are designed to help users develop accessories for Google’s Android platform. In particular, Android versions 2.3.4, 3.1 and later include a new framework that allows apps to communicate directly with an accessory connected to a smartphone or tablet via the USB port. Typical accessory applications include automotive car kits, audio, GPS, audio docks, remote controls, data backup, glucose meters, fitness equipment, credit card terminals and projectors.
Microchip’s starter kits make it easy for designers to quickly design, develop and debug electronics accessories for the growing market for Android smartphones. In addition to providing the schematics and Gerber files for the development boards, the free software library includes a sample application protocol and an abstraction layer, which enables designers to focus on creating the application. The development boards feature a USB connector, an on-board debugger, a programming user interface and standard Arduino connectors, for use with a host of third-party “Shield” expansion daughter cards.
The kits consist of a development board and a software library that enable fast and easy development of Android smartphone and tablet accessories based on Microchip’s large range of 16-bit and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers. The PIC24F Accessory Development Starter Kit for Android (part no. DM240415) is available now and priced at USD 80. The companion PIC32 Accessory Development Starter Kit for Android (part no. DM320412) is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2011 at the same price. The software library, which works with both kits, is available now.