The Arduino starter kit is frequently used by inventors who want to create a good grab bag of parts for their creative thinking - pulling together all kinds of favourite herbs and spices in the amateur electronics enthusiast's recipe book. It includes the Arduino Uno board, the latest microcontroller open source board from SparkFun - plus an array of devices, sensors, cables and connectors suitable for any inventive emergency!
The Arduino does not come with a printed manual, so if you are new to the Arduino universe you might want to try a SparkFun Inventor's Kit - or maybe buy both to maximise your parts potential. That said, of course, you can always get the information you need from the web, in true open source style - join a few forums, get out there and start learning "on the job" by copying other people's projects and seeing how they might be tweaked so they can work even better!
The Arduino starter kit embodies the whole ethos of peon source, which has started to move in on mainstream development as even the big companies start to realise just what a valuable resource the hobbying electronics enthusiast really is. With Arduino starter kit users taking existing platforms and developing new technology, new devices and new driver using just their imagination and their creativity, the potential for new products is as real as it is huge.
So how do you make the most of your Arduino kit? Depends how much experience you already have. The best way to learn is by doing - that is the whole ethos of the hobby electronics world after all - but that doesn't mean you need to throw yourself in at the deep end. You can develop a few simple applications first, getting to know how everything works, what kind of sensors you need, that kind of thing.
The more you read, the more use your Arduino will be. From creating that first simple application to developing a whole new touch screen environment for a smart phone is only a matter of gathering knowledge and practising.
Though there is of course one other part of the equation that you need to pay attention to. The best inventions happen when the inventor perceives some kind of need that has yet to be fulfilled - something that people want to do but, as yet, have no device to help them do it. Who knows - perhaps your Arduino starter kit could get you into something like that?
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