clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Here's a Thing to Help Put Things on the Internet of Things

Startup Spark IO wants to help you build gadgets that can talk to the cellular networks.

Via Spark IO

If you buy the argument that the so-called Internet of Things is going to grow from one billion devices to more than five billion over the next five years, then you might want to start thinking about ways you can design and build those things.

Here’s a thing that could soon help you get started. It’s called the Electron, and its a $39 kit meant to help product developers design devices that can be connected in some way to cellular towers. Dreaming of a thing that needs something more than a Wi-Fi connection? Here’s your chance to start building a prototype.

Electron is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign that has already raised $90,000, or about three times its goal, to get the first units built.

It comes from Spark IO, a 24-person startup that has previously built two other IoT kits, Spark Core and Photon, both of which were Wi-Fi development kits. To help nudge developers with cellular ambitions along, the outfit has become an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, a type of wireless carrier that resells capacity from the big wireless networks. The kit comes with a SIM card and wireless plan that costs about $3 a month.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.