All the components in a smartphone — the sensors, the GPS, the camera, the ARM core processors, the wireless, the memory, the battery — all that stuff, which is being driven by the incredible economies of scale and innovation machines at Apple, Google, and others, is available for a few dollars. They were essentially “unobtainium” 10 years ago. This is stuff that used to be military industrial technology; you can buy it at RadioShack now.
I remember sketching a networked device with a GPS in it circa 2003, and being told, “you’re never gonna be able to prototype that.” And they were right.
It’s pretty damn amazing, what’s changed in the last 10 years.