IoT is amazing and world-changing. It’s also hard to implement.
That conundrum is exactly what Particle, which raised $20 million last year to simplify no fewer than 450 separate IoT platforms, is trying to fix with Particle Mesh. Mesh offers two chipsets for enabling gateway nodes for IoT mesh networks — one for WiFi, the other for cellular networks — and a $9 version for connecting smart devices to the gateway nodes.
Simply put, Mesh is lego bricks for IoT development.
Mesh networks make sense for low-cost IoT devices because instead of each device requiring both expensive hardware (LTE radio chips) and expensive connectivity (cellular subscriptions), developers can simply connect five, 10, or 50 devices to one single network connection. In addition, longer-distance cellular radios require more power than short-range networks.
Apparently there’s a massive need for simple ways to implement cheap network connectivity for IoT devices.
“Particle has already sold 5,000 units in 5 hours,” a representative told me today. “Not bad for hardware that’s not available until the summer!”