This seems an awful lot similar to Raspberry Pi… how do the two compare with each other? I asked myself the same question… as a user, I can think of seven things I care about in a board like this (in order of importance): existence of a strong community, the brand (meaning: have I ever heard of it? How many other people use it? Is this going to be around in the foreseeable future?), compatibility with external hardware, difficulty of usage (e.g. required Linux skills), complexity to convert to production hardware, performance and price. Here how I think Kinoma Create and Raspberry Pi compare (this is all qualitative and based on my opinion):
As you can see the Kinoma Create does a good job at trying to be better than the Pi where the Pi does not shine, I have to admit that using the Raspberry Pi is not easy for someone not used to Linux command line. It is also true that if a maker has developed a concept on the Pi, and later needs to implement the idea using a smaller MCU, he could be in serious trouble because he suddenly loses all the advantages of running on Linux and have so many convenient software and libraries available. Having a platform that allows to never have to switch programming language can be a relief.
That said, I believe the community is still the most important element making a product like Raspberry Pi fly: you can literally find source code in any language for anything you might want to do, and people in forums are often willing to help. Also, it might be true that using the command line isn’t the simplest thing, but we have to acknowledge that the Linux command line wasn’t invented yesterday and that a quick Google search can solve most of the problems. The Kinoma Create is also not very known, at least if compared with Arduino and the Pi, so this can make newbie makers hesitant to jump onboard.
In conclusion I really like the fundamental idea that brought to the development of Kinoma’s Create, this goes another step in making easier for anyone to start make connected things. Kinoma’s team is working on real pain points for some of the makers out there so I can see the potential. However, to determine the success of the platform, it will be fundamental for Kinoma to increase its community size to Arduino/Pi levels and heavily promote the platform to make the maker community aware of its existence.