Arduino in the Mainstream

The Arduino is off to a relatively strong start.[1] In its first two years Arduino sold 50,000 boards, according to the article featuring the Arduino team in Wired Magazine.[2] As of August 2009 the official number sold was 100,000 according to Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino,[3] CEO of Tinker.it. Tinker.it is a company which partners with the Arduino microcontroller and has Banzi on staff as CTO. The research at hand shows that Arduino is growing in notoriety within art and design. Since 2005, the variety of Arduino microcontrollers has grown substantially. As of 2009 the Arduino hardware index[4] displayed thirteen different boards, several having multiple versions. That number does not include the uncountable derivatives produced by the Arduino community under the creative commons license.[5] The most recent version of the Arduino is the Duemilanove released in October of 2008.[6]

Searching beyond the scope of Arduino's figures, Google[7] was consulted to reveal search results. In 2009, the term Arduino is found in 1.9 million websites. The boolean operation "Arduino and Design" pulled up 613,000 sites, and "Arduino and Art" had 603,000. Google Trends[8] is a service provided by Google with algorithms that show trends and correlation based on search terms from 2004 to the present. The graph in Fig 11 shows "Arduino" as a singular search term. There is a jump in 2005 when the Arduino project was released. From 2005-2009 there is continuous growth of the term "Arduino" used in websites according to Google Trends. The X axis of the graph shows a timeline from 2004-2009. The Y axis shows the average search traffic for the term "Arduino". The data is scaled on the relative average search traffic.[9]

google-trends-arduino.pngFigure 3-10 Google Trends graphs of the term Arduino

The following phrases were googled: "Arduino and Art" and "Arduino and Design" in 2008 and 2007[10] using Google Trends.[11] Google Trends retrieves data based on searches containing both terms on a webpage. In 2009, the terms "Arduino" and "Design" have more trends found together than "Arduino" and "Art" do. The trends for each do not yet show strong correlations, but show growth in popularity with the Arduino in art and design terminology since 2005. The significance of finding data in Google Trends shows a cultural expectation for a relationship between art or design and the Arduino microcontroller, concluded by the frequency of search traffic for those terms.


  1. Taking an Open-Source Approach to Hardware. Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574559960271468066.html (visited on 11/27/2009)
  2. Clive Thompson, Build It. Share It. Profit.. Wired, 2008, 166-176
  3. Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (CEO of Tinker.it) in discussion with the author, November 2009.
  4. Arduino: Hardware. Arduino, http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Hardware (visited on 11/04/2009)
  5. Creative Commons. http://creativecommons.org (visited on 06/13/2009)
  6. Arduino: Hardware. Arduino, http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Hardware (visited on 11/04/2009)
  7. Google. http://google.com (visited on 10/23/2009)
  8. A beta project from Google Labs.
  9. Google Trends. http://www.google.com/intl/en/trends/about.html#7 (visited on 10/23/2009)
  10. The 2009 data is not yet complete.
  11. The numbers are generalized numbers over a period of time from Google's search data. Google Trends works by analyzing algorithms based on search data: http://www.google.com/intl/en/trends/about.html#7