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This section collects some of the stories initally posted on the blog of the main embedXcode website.

Since 2010, the logo of embedXcode have gone through 3 generations with 6 versions.

2010-2014: Remember the first generation

The project started in January 2010 with the Arduino and chipKIT boards, and then the Wiring and LeafLabs boards.

The first embedXcode logo took a quarter of the icons from each of the IDEs. When Energia was launched, the rocket of its IDE was added on top to get the second embedXcode logo.

The first public version embedXcode was launched in January 2012.

It became quickly clear that there were two kinds of users. Some wanted to focus on core features while other were looking for more advanced features like project sharing and external debugging.

This led to the embedXcode+ edition, based on donations. The logo for the embedXcode+ edition just added a plus to the logo of the standard edition.

2015-2018: See the second generation

With more platforms being added, the logo had to change to suggest this wider choice.

There were as many different IDEs as platforms, customised to the colours of the manufacturer. So changing the targets board meant switching IDEs, while it was just selecting the board on embedXcode.

The second generation was introduced in September 2015 with the forth logo, and refined one year later with the fifth logo, taking some inspiration from flat design

It conveyed the sense of diversity with 18 squares, which colours were taken from their IDEs; and of unity, with strong eX and eX+ letters

The embedXcode logo was also adapted to each platform, with different shades from their IDEs: tile for Arduino, red for Energia, grey for Teensy. Utilities were in black, grey and reverse white on black

2019+: Discover the third generation

Today is launched the third generation with the sixth version of the logo.

The squares become circles, migrate from left to bottom, and clear the space for the eX and eX+ letters.

The background colour turns white to improve contrast and readability.

The logo keeps the same logic and is adapted to the different platforms and utilities.

Learn about disruptive technology and frugal innovation

During the last 6 years, I’ve been surprised to see that large corporations and national agencies are using embedXcode, and thus solutions based on the Wiring, Arduino and Energia frameworks.

I just wondered: What is the rationale behind? I’ve searched for answers and found two: disruptive technology and frugal innovation.

Disruptive technology

Disruptive technology is less about content than about usage and accessibility.

Contrary to Schumpeter's creative destruction, Christensen's disruptive technology is not exclusive and opens new markets

  • It lowers the entry barriers of complexity and makes technology affordable for new entrants. In doing so, it enables technology for new users and opens the doors to mass market. For example, the Wiring, Arduino and Energia frameworks offer a higher level of abstraction, with a simplified set of functions, perfect for new users. This higher level of abstraction, mostly based on objects, is not exclusive: underlying libraries and register-level functions are still exposed.

  • The business model is innovative too. The hardware and software are open-source, and software is free: everyone can contribute. This entitles co-development and co-creation. For example, the contributed library Galaxia exposes the RTOS elements for Energia MT.

  • Actually, each new feature and library contributed by the community increases the value for everyone. It is no longer the rule of diminishing returns, but of increasing returns. The larger the community, the higher the value network.

Frugal innovation

Frugal innovation, or « doing more with less », is a normal way for emerging countries and a necessity for developed countries.

The title says it all

  • The first aspect is substantial cost reduction, mostly fast-track development and shortened time-to-market, thanks to the use of disruptive technologies. First used for fast prototyping, frugal innovation is expanding to finished products, as the prototypes are good enough for production and market.​

  • A product developed through frugal innovation focuses on core functionalities, mainly the 20% of the features that makes 80% of the value for the user. This also reduces complexity, which eases maintenance and lowers costs. ​

  • For the 20% of the features, the core functionalities are optimised to achieve a high level of performance. For example, libraries rely on industry-grade SDKs, and achieve the same ultra-low level of power consumption as their traditional alternatives.

Conclusion

I'm glad embedXcode actively contributes to those trends. ​The questions are now: Are hardware and software suppliers aware of those trends? Are they ready to complement their traditional offerings with lighter solutions?