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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

"Users can collect data about the time when spaces are empty," Hart says, and could thus adjust pricing at specific times, for instance, in order to encourage drivers to use those spaces throughout the day and week. The mesh could be used for such applications as monitoring fans or other mechanical equipment, so as to prevent failures or predict maintenance requirements. Such a system could utilize temperature, pressure or other sensors to identify when a machine may not be operating properly. "It is also great for local interactions," Hart states, in places where an internet connection might not be available.

For instance, the transmitters could be installed in mines and could forward sensor data to the receiver, which could have an Ethernet connection to a laptop that would collect data and, if necessary, issue an alert indicating mine conditions were not healthy. "You could send the message directly to an alarming device," Hart says, "or use local connectivity with a cellular connection" employed by the receiver.

"In the next six months," Hart states, "we expect to see many more use cases coming back to us" as developers experiment with the technology. At that point, Particle may opt to develop specific solutions that companies could utilize for such applications as monitoring parking or equipment maintenance. In a typical installation, the company estimates that each gateway could support 10 to 20 sensor transmitters apiece.

Thus far, Hart says, approximately 35,000 of the devices have been preordered, as well as development kits. Developers can use the kit to set up a system in which a single Argon, Boron or Xenon serves as a receiver, with a choice of sensors attached to the mesh devices that transmit to that receiver. They could then develop apps and software-based solutions themselves, or purchase assistance from Particle to develop a system for them. Typically, a company would pay a one-time fee for the sensor hardware, as well as a monthly fee for access to the data.

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