Dev kits enable Android developers to accessorize

With Android-based devices now representing a sizable segment of the smartphone universe, there is a huge potential market for hardware accessories, including automotive, home, fitness/health, and business applications. Addressing this new market, Microchip Technology recently announced Accessory Development Starter Kits for Android. Specifically, Android versions 2.3.4, 3.1, and later include a new framework that allows applications to communicate directly with an accessory connected to a smartphone or tablet via USB.

Each kit consists of a development board and software library that enables the development of Android smartphone and tablet accessories based on Microchip’s 16- and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers. Example accessory applications include automotive (car kits, audio, GPS), home (audio docks, remote controls, data backup), fitness/health (glucose meters, fitness equipment), and business (credit card terminals, projectors). Microchip’s PIC24F Accessory Development Starter Kit for Android is available today for $79.99. The PIC32 Accessory Development Starter Kit for Android is expected to be available in Q3 2011 also for $79.99. The software library, which works with both kits, is currently available via a free download from Microchip.