I would personally suggest plugins or a front end, as they are well the main requirement/use in this field.
A plugin would be my first suggestion vs a front end as well to many of them coming out now.. Dont even plan on releasing my font end as well dont need another on the pile.
Plugins would be handy for most and added more so if you create the same plugin for various packages/front ends. Eg a simple one would be a arduino plugin for centrafuse to allow
simple device operations using say serial data.
So perhaps have a look at the various hardware items available and due to be available and then turn them into a plugin or way to connect easily with a software package.
Most items are available in the way of software or can be sourced, BY ALL MEANS keep with your idea.. Just make sure the idea is one that has not been done 100 times before