The value of FieldKit in the Real World

September 10, 2019 | Shah Selbe

People often ask us about what we are trying to achieve in building FieldKit. There are a lot of sensor products out there and a ton of tutorials around building home-brew dataloggers. We kept realizing that those solutions didn’t meet the needs of the users that we encounter at Conservify in the conservation, ecology, environmental, and education spaces. These are:

  1. Create something with thoughtfully designed ease of use that gives people ownership over their own data.
  2. Leverage recent innovations in technology to build something that doesn’t break the bank, or at least something that is accessible to the majority of environmentally curious folks out there.
  3. Build a tool for scientifically rigorous monitoring that doesn’t tie you to unnecessarily proprietary formats or clunky software tools.

These things drove us to continue to try and build FieldKit for use in the greater world, and open source our designs to allow others to modify, build on, and take ownership over the future of this platform.

That means building something that doesn’t stop at the hardware. It means understanding the users needs the whole way through. It means thinking about what happens to FieldKit data if Conservify were to disappear. It means thinking about what hardware would look like if it were deeply modular at its core. It means thinking through how data is visualized. It means thinking through how others build on FieldKit as a stepping stone. All of these things are concepts that we have been deeply considering over the last two years. Particularly as we consider the “whole product experience.”

There will be more on that soon, but I wanted to share a quick vision of what that experience would look like in the following video:

I am also proud to announce that FieldKit was chosen as one of the 20 finalists in the 2019 Hackaday Prize. It is a huge honor to be in this pool of very interesting and capable projects. The FieldKit team is excited about this opportunity and is looking forward to share FieldKit with the folks at Supercon this fall.