Development boards, such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, are common choices when prototyping new IoT devices. Those development boards are essentially mini-computers that can connect to and be programmed by a standard PC or Mac. Because the “I” in IoT stands for internet, the development boards need a way to connect to the internet. In the field, the best way to connect to the internet is by using wireless networks.

I will introduce an open source IoT development board called NodeMCU. One of its most unique features is that it has built-in support for wifi connectivity, and hence makes IoT application development much easier.

The NodeMCU is an open source software and hardware development environment that is built around a very inexpensive System-on-a-Chip called the ESP8266. The ESP8266, contains all crucial elements of the modern computer: CPU, RAM, networking, and even a modern operating system.

It is a powerful, easy to use, and yet very low-cost solution for IoT application development. For IoT beginners, I feel the NodeMCU is one of the best options to go from prototyping all the way to production.

Link: IBM Developer Works

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