The Internet of Things movement has inspired many promising new products that simplify bot building. An assortment of small circuit boards can now connect our bots to the networked world, quickly and easily. One such product is Core ($39). Released by Spark in 2013, Core features a STM32F103 72Mhz ARM Cortex M3 processor, 128KB flash, 20KB RAM, 2MB external flash and 802.11b/g connectivity.
Now Spark has a smaller, faster product available for pre-sale: the Photon. This Wi-Fi module offers a STM32F205 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller, 1MB flash, 128KB RAM and 802.11b/g/n. The Photon is backward compatible, so most of the hardware and software that works with Core will work with Spark. Spark claims Photon is also easier to use that Core, and at just $19 it certainly won’t cost much to find out — assuming the company gets enough orders.
Spark says it will only start a manufacturing run if some 10,000 Photons are sold. The ship date is tentatively set for March 2015.