If you follow me or read my blogs you know I am a huge fan of Kickstarter and how its fundamentally changed the way electronics come to market and the new devices that appear rarely disappoint. Kickstarter Week here on the community last December was a huge hit and we learned a lot about the technology people really will pay for upfront. So when you combine Kickstarter with the IoT thats a potent market driver. This is also the week of Embedded World so the market is awash with talk of everything IoT (for a quick rundown see Philippe Bressy's blog Embedded World 2015 has started, and what a start !). An essential element of the IoT is connectivity and its a non trivial challenge to get your device talking to the world. There are so many options, wifi, zigbee, bluetooth, cellular, ISM band and even the brand new SIGFOX. Of all of these though the cellular route has some real advantages, good coverage, especially outdoors, cheap low volume data plans ($2.99/month for up to 20,000 short messages in this case) and solid networks so when I saw this new Kickstarter from Spark I had to order one.
Alongside the cellular modem you get a ARM Cortex-M3 based controller (STMicroelectronics STM32F205) and a dead simple board layout for connecting peripherals and the antenna:
In the time its taken me to edit this post the $29 version is sold out but you can get in on the $39 version if you move fast. Its products like this that will drive the IoT so go take a look and tell me what you think.