Update on upcoming Cellular Imp?


#1

I found this article from last year and am curious if Electric Imp is still working towards a cellular version?
http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?doc_id=1330059

If so, is any information available at this point?

If not, where can I find a good breakdown on my ‘affordable’ options for cellular using an Electric Imp? I see a bunch of services and products rolling out to support cheap IoT cellular service, but I don’t know enough about the topic to make an intelligent choice right now.

I know I could try a Particle Electron (and many others), but I love the Electric Imp and the IDE and I don’t want to stray away from it. I think they blow the Particle IDE (and arduino platform) out of the water.

EDIT: I’m asking because I use Imps to watch solar hot water systems I install and fix and this past weekend I really, really needed to watch a system remotely but the site was a clinical facility and nobody would let me have wi-fi access. This has come up a bunch of times over the years, and as a result I’m finally starting to explore more connectivity options, but really want to stay with the Imp platform.

EDIT, EDIT: I spent some time looking at hotspot options and I’m wondering if there is any reason why this solution would not work? It would be $15 a month for each Imp Solar Hot Water Monitor I deploy, which isn’t bad because I use them as diagnostic tools for short periods of time on systems I install or fix. The company is called Straight Talk. They use Verizon network. They have a $15/month hotspot plan which includes a free hotspot device. I’m assuming the hotspot can be secured so nobody else can use it, but if you know that’s not true, please do share.

The free hotspot:
https://shop.straighttalk.com/shop/en/straighttalk/mobilebroadbands/unimax-u240C-white-box

The Plan:
https://tinyurl.com/yat6ydt7

Does this seem reasonable? I see a few other companies offering lower data rates, if not free, but I need to spend $100-$150 on their hotspot devices and not all use the Verizon network like Straight Talk does.

EDIT Again: I went ahead and decided to try the Straight Talk 1GB/month package with their free hotspot device. It’s ordered. If anyone is curious I’ll let you know how it works out. I was charged $16.46 which includes free overnight shipping on the device and SIM card. Unless they are a scam, I figure it was worth trying.

The big question remains, however…how do we get individual Imps online for a fraction of the $15/month using cellular without a lot of custom hardware work. I love the 003 breakout…it’s all I need and a great price for me. I dream right now of a life support breakout with cellular…


#2

Don’t worry, there will be a truly class leading answer to your question soon :slight_smile: - don’t go anywhere in the meantime!

We have many customers using hotspots with imps, and this works well, but this is obviously much more expensive (on an ongoing basis) than a native cellular imp - unless, of course, you have multiple devices sharing a hotspot, which is also something we see.


#3

Awesome news! Thank you! I’m excited!


#4

@hugo, This is indeed exciting! I have to ask - anything you can say about when we might see a cellular imp? Looking for good on-the-go connectivity options that don’t involve a mobile device.