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Particle Releases Mesh-Based IoT Solution for Developers

The system includes low-cost wireless sensor transmitters and gateways, as well as the company's Device Cloud software, so developers can create an ecosystem of sensors to wirelessly detect conditions for everything from factories to parking lots.
By Claire Swedberg

According to Hart, the mesh solution was developed on the request of Particle's customers that wanted to add greater context and intelligence to the data being collected. For instance, a water company could employ Device Cloud to collect data regarding water usage via a sensor attached to a water meter, which would communicate directly with the cloud-based server.

However, Hart adds, if a company wanted to deploy wireless moisture detectors throughout a larger area in order to understand when and where any potential leaks were occurring, the mesh could be the solution. In that case, a user could deploy battery-powered transmitters that would share data with other devices using the Thread ecosystem, employing the IEEE's 802.15.4 standard. The use of the low-rate WPAN standard provides a very long battery life, the company reports, with a relatively low data rate.

Will Hart
Such devices could transmit their own unique ID numbers and sensor data to the gateway, thus providing a view into many locations within a water system or area, so as to gain a more granular understanding of where water leaks might occur. But there are numerous other applications for such a mesh, the company notes. "Once we create a mesh network," Hart states, "the system then opens new use cases."

For instance, a parking lot operator could use the low-cost mesh-network system to identify what is happening at a particular lot on a space-by-space basis. A sensor could be installed at each parking space to detect whether or not a car was parked there. The device, in such a scenario, could be built into a robust, flat, circular encasing, and could use a motion, ultrasonic or other occupancy sensor to identify a vehicle's presence. The data collected could be transmitted to the gateway device within the area via Thread (using the 802.15.4 RF protocol), and the gateway would then forward that information to the cloud.

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