Here are a few notes about interesting dev boards I have used for "Internet of Things (IoT)" projects.
The ESP8266 was developed as a wifi board, but its integrated micro controller makes it an interesting platform for lots of uses. By adding the Arduino Core you can program it using the Arduino environment. I have used ESP8266 on a number of projects successfully. It is a bit power hungry because of the wifi, but it has support for sleep mode between sensor readings and broadcasts that can prolong battery life. If the IoT device is connected to power then this is an easy choice, as it is so low cost, and wifi makes it easy to push data to a server.
Two nice boards are:
- Sparkfun Thing - this hookup guide also describes using phant.io, SparkFun's free online data storage service.
- Adafruit Huzzah
- The ESP32 will be out soon, and offers more memory and also BLE which will be a very cool feature if you want a low cost device that supports WiFi and BLE. The Intel Edison below include both WiFi and BLE radios but is rather expensive. The Blend Micro below is fairly low cost, but only includes a BLE radio.
- I have a few notes in this ESP8266 Setup Post
ReadBear Blend Micro
Readbear specializes in BLE dev boards for Arduino. The Blend Micro board combines BLE and Arduino into a single 3.3V board about the length and width of a AAA battery. This board is also Codebender compatible so it is great for use in school environments. One interesting use is to use the robotatic's ANCS Library to receive ANCS messages from an iPhone and perform some interesting action using a combination of sounds. LED's, or a small LCD display wired to the Blend Micro depending on the alert type.
Rasberry Pi Zero
The Pi Zerois is an exciting 5W platform for building devices. The big plus is it has Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports so provides some interesting possibilities for use as an IoT hub in the home. It does not come with Wifi or BLE however, so these add additional costs.
The Intel Edison
Sparkfun has a development board platform that allows hardware blocks to be added that provide most capabilities required in an arduino type project.
I have a few notes here: