The crew at Cooking Hacks in Zaragoza wrote in to share a new shield they developed for the Arduino platform. There are a hundred different shields out there that do this and that, but we think their 3G/GPRS shield looks pretty slick.
The base shield contains a WCDMA and HSPA compatible 3G modem as well as a GPS receiver. The modem can be used with an Arduino, or plugged directly into a computer via USB, allowing it to be used any way you like it. The more advanced kit offered by the Cooking Hacks crew features a VGA video camera, as well as an audio kit that can both play and record audio.
One neat feature they were quick to point out is that not all network communications need to be handled by the Arduino. Simple transactions (HTTP/FTP/POP3/SMTP) can all be carried out by sending standard AT commands to the modem.
Now, the kits don’t come cheap, but we can’t help but be interested in seeing what applications people dream up with this shield at the helm. Cooking Hacks is a division of Libelium Communcations, but as they are the company’s “Open Hardware Division” there are schematics available should you be interested in rolling your own 3G modem instead.