2017 will be the year of the Internet of Things, there is no doubt. And the Free Hardware is a good proof of this. During these months, several free and not so free plates have come out that are focused on the IoT world.
Models that are all characterized by having a built-in gsm module that will allow you to send data remotely without having a nearby Wi-Fi network. Arduino is no stranger to it and has launched its own Arduino board with GSM module, this board is called MKRFOX1200.
MKRFOX1200 is a board very similar to Arduino Pro, that is, a small board with the power and principles of Arduino. The microchip of this model is SAM D21 32-bit Cortex-M0 +. But it also has a GSM module with antenna that will allow the device to send data remotely and it has an extra support service and connection to the Sigfox network that will allow, among other things, to achieve geolocation of the plate or send data for free.
MKRFOX1200 will be connected to the Sigfox network for two years
However, this connection to the Sigfox network will only be valid for two years. The service is then deactivated or is available to us with the corresponding service fee.
The truth is that with or without Sigfox, this new Arduino board is very interesting because it is a good option for projects or areas where you cannot access a Wifi network and you need to send data, such as the countryside, smart cities or the industrial world with such a hostile environment for certain technologies.
The price of this Arduino board will not be as affordable as other devices, specifically it can already be purchased in the official Arduino stores for 35 euros, a price not at all affordable if we compare the cost of boards such as Orange Pi or Raspberry Pi that can be connected to any Arduino board and are still cheaper than MKRFOX1200.
In any case, it is a young plate model and you have to give the makers time to create their projects or test it for them, but something tells me that the price will not be an obstacle for the development of this plate. Do not you think?