Arduino wants to be more than just a micro-controller — it wants to be a brand, too.
With its new”Ardunio At Heart” program, the open-source hardware organization wants to make it easier for companies to tell world their products are based of Arduino technology.
The program is essentially Arduino’s answer to something like Intel’s “Intel Inside” ad campaign, which was all about sowing brand awareness for something that very few consumers would normally be aware of.
On a practical level, this means that when a company or maker uses the new Arduino branding on their product, they automatically get plugged into Arduino’s own branding and marketing. Arduino might even go as far as to sell partner products on its own website.
While the program is still new, products like Primo (a physical programming education game), Smart Citizen (an “open-source environmental monitoring” platform) and littleBits (an open-source electronic modules library) are already signed up for the program.
But this isn’t charity on Arduino’s part. In exchange for the branding, Arduino is also asking for some cash from partner companies. For small-time makers, this means a flat fee, but for larger companies, Arduino is asking for royalty payments as high as five percent of the product’s wholesale price.
Ultimately, it’s up to the companies themselves to decide whether taking up the “Arduino at Heart” branding makes sense for them. But I suspect there will a lot of hardware operations eager to associate themselves with the community Arduino has created.