The Electron is an Arduino-like cellular development kit for creating cellular-connected electronics projects and products. It comes with a SIM card, so the board will be able to send messages to a central server, almost anywhere in the world without Wi-Fi. It works like an Arduino. It runs a single application, which you can write using Wiring (Arduino’s programming language) or C/C++, or ARM assembly. It’s open source.
It’s a circuit board about the size of your thumb, that fits in a breadboard and consists of a microcontroller, a cellular modem, voltage regulator, buttons, LED, antenna, SIM card slot, crystal, resistors, capacitors, inductors.
- STM32F205 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller
- 1MB Flash, 128K RAM
- Cellular modem: U-Blox SARA U-series (3G) or G-series (2G)
- 36 pins total: 28 GPIOs (D0-D13, A0-A13), plus TX/RX, 2 GNDs, VIN, VBAT, WKP, 3V3, RST
- Board dimensions: 2.0″ x 0.8″ x 0.3″ (0.5″ including headers)
It comes in 2G and 3G options with the boards costing $39 and $59 respectively. It comes with a SIM card and Spark will act as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). They’re offering 1MB of data for $2.99 a month (you should be able to send and receive 20,000 messages per month) and it will work in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
The project is on the Kickstarter and already have reached the goal of $30,000 pledges. The estimated delivery date is October 2015.