Any idea should start with a prototype. It doesn't matter whether it's a game, a web or mobile application, or a generic software component. Every time we want to deliver something to our final users, we have to create a prototype first. This is the most important step because it's when we start to face our first difficulties and when we may change some important aspects of our project.
If we are writing a software component, the first prototype isn't too expensive because what we need is our time and passion. However, this isn't applicable when our project has some hardware parts because it could be too expensive to afford all the required components. This statement was true until programmers, engineers and open source lovers started to release projects such as Arduino.
Fast prototyping boards let people realize projects with cheap or reused old components, and this, together with the Do It Yourself (DIY) philosophy, allows the creation of a huge community that spreads all over the world. This is where the UDOO board plays an important role in the makers' community: the hardware prototyping ecosystem, together with the traditional way to write software applications, represents a powerful combination for interactive projects creation.
In this chapter, we will explore more details about the UDOO board, focusing on the elements that are important to get started. In particular, we will cover:
Exploring the UDOO platform and its main characteristics
Setting up the board with the Android operating system
Configuring the development environment for Arduino and Android
Bootstrapping a simple Android application
Deploying an Android application