Microsoft Azure IoT, Balena, Particle, or Toit – Choosing the Right IoT Development Platform

IoT Development Platforms

With the ongoing fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), IoT technologies are playing a major role in automating industrial processes. Integrating existing systems with IoT results in an intelligent solution that focuses more on providing better adaptability and resource efficiency. If you start building such systems from scratch while ensuring reliability and other factors, it will surely take a lot of research and time. This is where an IoT development platform steps in to save your time and makes things a lot easier. The main idea behind these platforms is to avoid reinventing the wheel and to provide standardized functions and features, so you don’t waste your time implementing something that someone has already done for you. You can collect data, control and manage apps and connect to their cloud services for better machine-to-machine communication. This article will look at some modern IoT development platforms and finally compare them to help […]

Particle Takes Pre-orders for its Cellular Tracking SoM, Evaluation Kit, and Tracker One Asset Tracker

Tracker Som Evaluation Kit

Earlier this year, Particle announced its Tracking System turnkey solution comprised of Tracker SoM LTE IoT module, Tracker One asset tracker with enclosure, as well as Particle Tracking Services software suite with geolocation services, fleet management, and an open device firmware application framework to integrate with off-the-shelf IoT sensors and enable OTA firmware updates. The hardware devices were expected for June/July 2020, and the company has now started to take pre-orders for Tracker SoM, its evaluation kit, and Tracker One for respectively $79.99, $99.99, and $127.99. Shipping is expected to start in August 2020. We already covered Tracker SoM in our initial article with the full specifications, but basically, it’s a Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 powered module with 8MB flash, ESP32 for WiFI (including support for indoor location),  U-blox Neo-M8U GNSS module, and a choice of Quectel BG96 LTE CAT M1 module for the US or Quectel EG91-X CAT 1 module […]

Particle Tracking System Offers Software, Hardware LTE IoT Module and Tracker in Turnkey Solution

Trakcker SoM

Particle’s first cellular M2M module was launched in 2015 when the company was still called Spark IO. Since then they’ve offered new modules and boards supporting recent standards like NB-IoT and/or LTE Cat-M with product likes Boron and  E series castellated modules. The company found out that most of their customers used their boards for asset tracking despite many off-the-shelf products already available, and the main reason was the ability to customize the solution. To help their customers, the company has now launched the Particle Tracking System combining a software suite with LTE IoT system-on-module and Tracker One reference product to ease the development and deployment of customized asset tracking solutions. Particle Tracking System is comprised of three main components relying on the existing Particle IoT platform: Particle Tracking Services software suite with geolocation services (mapping and geodatabase), fleet-wide device management, an open device firmware application framework to integrate with […]

Giveaway Week Winners – November 2019

giveaway week 2019

We just had another of our yearly “Giveaway week” on CNX Software with 7 prizes including Arm and RISC-V development boards, NB-IoT tracker, USB-C hub, as well as development kits based on ESP32 or ESP8266 WiSoCs. People just had to comment within a 48 hours period, and we would randomly select a winner each day. We now have all confirmed winners with a strong start from Europe, Asia catching up mid-week, before with Poland and Brazil taking the week-end prizes: Balena Fin Developer Kit – Laurent H, FRANCE WisCellular NB-IoT & eMTC GPS Tracker – Jimmy, SWEDEN MINIX NEO S1 USB-C Hub with 120GB built-in SSD – Jeroen, BELGIUM Maixduino Sipeed M1 RISC-V AI Kit – Nguyen Tung, VIETNAM ANAVI Gas Detector Starter Kit – Bumsik Kim, SOUTH KOREA Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit – Wojciech Lubicz-Lapinski, POLAND NanoPi M4V2 SBC & Metal Case Kit – Thiago Tavares, BRAZIL I […]

Giveaway Week – Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit

Particle Mesh IoT Developer Kit

In early 2018, Particle introduced three nRF52840 Bluetooth 5 boards, also supporting the company’s Particle Mesh technology, and selling for as low as $9. Later that year, the company send me what they call Particle Mesh IoT development kit with several of those boards to get started with their mesh networking solution. That’s what I’m offering as the 6th prize of this giveaway week. With this kit on hand, I wrote a Particle Mesh networking getting started guide showing how to configure the board in Particle.io dashboard, and easily push a new program to multiple Xenon Bluetooth 5 + Mesh boards using an Argon WiFi & Bluetooth 5 + Mesh as the gateway. I’ll give away the full kit shown in the top picture which includes: The Argon kit (ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth + Mesh) A Grove and Particle Sensor Kit with various modules and a shield An Adafruit Featherwing […]

Particle Mesh Networking Review – Part 2: Getting Started Guide with Argon & Xenon

Particle Mesh Network Argon Xenon Success

I’ve recently received a Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit with one Argon WiFi + Mesh (802.15.4) board acting as gateway, three Xenon Mesh boards, and various sensors and accessories.  I’ve already showcased the hardware in the first part in the review, so in this post I’ll post my experience getting started with Particle Mesh networking using the kit. Beside the kit, you’ll need a few micro USB cables, a mobile phone running Android or iOS, a reliable Internet connection (more on that later), and a host PC for programming and debugging potential issues. Setting Up Particle Argon & Xenon boards First we’ll need to configure / setup the boards. Go to https://setup.particle.io to login or create an account if you don’t already have one, and you should be brought the following page. Select Mesh, and you’ll be asked to setup a gateway first. Any of the boards from Particle Mesh […]

Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Review – Part 1: Unboxing

Particle Argon WiFi Bluetooth Kit

Back in February of this year, Particle introduced three low cost IoT development boards based on Nordic Semi nRF52840 wireless chip supporting “Particle Mesh” networking based on the 802.15.4 radio in the chip and OpenThread implementation of Thread IoT communication protocol. The company recently announced they were now shipping the kits pre-ordered earlier this year, and released two IoT development tools based on Node-RED and Visual Studio Code. Particle contacted me as well as to find out whether I was interested in reviewing their latest WiFi / Bluetooth / Mesh kit, and I’ve just received the bundle, which comes with a bunch of items, so I decided to write an unboxing post first to have a first look at the hardware, before playing with it in one or two weeks. Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Bundle Unboxing That’s what I got from UPS… From top left to bottom right: The […]

Particle Unveils Mesh SoMs and IoT Developer Tools

Earlier this year, Particle unveiled three IoT development boards based on nRF52840 Bluetooth 5/802.15.4 WiSoC and supporting Particle Mesh, which interestingly is not based on Bluetooth Mesh or even Bluetooth, and instead relies on Thread specification/OpenThread implementation, and the 802.15.4 radio of the chip with Bluetooth only used for the initial setup stage. Particle announced the shipping date (October 2018 or… this month) for their Mesh boards pre-ordered in February, as well as three new products in a recent blog post. One of the products is a family of system-on-modules compatible with Particle Mesh, while the other two are related IoT developer tools. Particle Mesh SOMs The Particle Mesh SOMs will have similar names and features as corresponding Particle mesh developers kits such as Boron (NB-IoT / eMTC + BLE + Mesh) and Argon (ESP32 WiFi, BLE + Mesh), but with an edge connector and designed as enterprise-grade, production-scale version […]