Spanish telecoms operator Telefónica (Madrid, Spain) has teamed up with electronics specialist Arduino (London, UK) on the development of a new programmable electronic board with M2M capabilities.
Arduino boards are already used to connect sensors and control applications ranging from lighting to motors, but the new-look board developed with the Spanish operator incorporates remote monitoring capabilities, with a GPRS/GSM connection that links the hardware motherboard with Telefónica’s M2M service.
Called the Shield, the device includes further functionality, say the two companies. For a start, it can perform other tasks while communicating, and Shield users can sign up to a communication service from Telefónica allowing them to manage Arduino remotely from the BlueVia website (BlueVia is Telefónica’s global API program).
The service also includes its own Telefónica M2M SIM cards, which will allow access to it from EU countries, the USA and almost the whole of South America.
Arduino and Telefónica say the advances will benefit developers by allowing them to go on designing M2M communication applications in a straightforward and cost-effective manner.
Arduino claims to be the hardware of choice for the production of prototypes of future systems, typically used to make the initial versions of new products and prototypes as a prelude to making the required final hardware in miniature.
The Shield was unveiled at last week’s Campus Party in Brazil, an electronic entertainment event that attracts developers and gamers from around the world.
Telefónica and Arduino presented the new product at a series of meetings and workshops, allowing attendees to work directly using their own Shields.