The Internet is a wonderful thing. Check the weather, cat videos, message a friend, cat videos. There is this whole Internet of Things (IoT) which is the notion of connecting cat videos to the physical world. The information on the internet can affect (oh gawd, affect or effect) and also be updated by the physical world.
There are a range of projects that can be solved by this.
- The weather is changing and you left your laundry out.
- Where did you leave your bike
- Worried about your cat while you are at work (and it’s not bring your cat to work day)
Being an electronics engineer this is something I’ve done for a while though thanks to Particle.io this has become accessible to programmers and makers with minimal emphasis on knowing electronics and hitting your head against brick walls.
What I want to share here is how to get your ideas into internet connected reality.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
That probably isn’t a good analogy.
Particle.io recently released their Generation 3 hardware which are a bag of goodies to connect your projects to the internet in various ways.
Meet Xenon, Argon, Boron
Yes, my friends are elements of the Periodic Table. Geeky+
Common to each is that Particle.io gives you easy ways to hook the physical world into internet data sources (weather, maps, tweets, cat videos) and to update the devices remotely (code online, press button, presto) which is referred to as Over The Air (OTA) updates.
They are different because each give you different connectivity options. You select them based on your projects needs.
Xenon – Mesh
Argon – Mesh + WiFi
Boron – Mesh + Cellular
WiFi and Cellular are familiar as your phone does this. Mesh however is the new kid on the block.
Mesh allows for local communication between devices but also for it to ‘hop’ between devices extending their range.
Here is Zach, Particle.io CEO in a flattering pose.
Each person is representing a node, having a conversation with the person next to them. From there information is passed on, you get the picture, mesh for the local win.
Now that we have an idea of each device super power, we will not start making things with them! To Be Continued.