Introducing the new Particle Tracking System (plus other major improvements announced at Spectra 2020)

We’re thrilled to announce an all-new asset tracking system, B523 SoM, and key platform improvements to help support your IoT initiatives.

Zach Supalla article author avatarZach SupallaApril 29, 2020
Introducing the new Particle Tracking System (plus other major improvements announced at Spectra 2020)

At Particle, our goal is to make it easier for you to connect the unconnected, no matter what you are building. Whether you’re deploying light electric vehicles for micromobility, monitoring protected lands for illegal forestry, or tracking the locations of important machines, vehicles, and other assets, we’re here to provide the infrastructure to power your IoT product.

Today, we took a step in a new direction: going beyond the infrastructure layer of IoT by launching the Particle Tracking System. We want to tackle more of the challenges of locating mobile assets, which is one of the most common use cases for Particle and IoT more broadly. 

Since we launched the Electron, our first cellular connectivity product back in 2015, “asset tracking” has been the #1 reason that our customers have used Particle. In some ways, this surprised us; asset tracking is a well-worn industry with quite a number of off-the-shelf products that are readily available. But what we’ve learned is that most of our customers were looking for a degree of customization that an off-the-shelf asset tracker doesn’t offer. Whether you’re tracking ambulances and fire trucks, rental equipment, or electric scooters – an off-the-shelf “GPS in a box” product won’t cut it. The Particle Tracking System is a new suite of products (both software services and associated hardware) that are designed to make it easier to deploy a customized asset tracking solution as quickly and easily as possible.

Alongside the Particle Tracking system, we were also proud to announce other new products and platform improvements to help simplify IoT development at Spectra, our annual conference for developers and IoT product creators. Specifically, we announced: 

The Particle Tracking System — Track mission-critical assets anywhere

Particle Asset Tracking System — Geolocation interface

The Particle Tracking System is an all-new set of platform capabilities designed to help you deploy and scale enterprise-grade asset tracking applications. This integrated tracking system includes everything you need to fine tune the behavior of your tracker products, from location services, to static fleet configuration, and key fleet management integrations. 

The Tracking System is powered by our Tracking Services, a software suite purpose-built for asset tracking applications. Our Tracking Services also power our T SoM and Tracker One, two new hardware products that come equipped with industry-leading capabilities like GNSS dead reckoning, CAN, wake/alert-on-movement, and on-board power management / data storage capabilities:

  • Tracking Services is a suite of software purpose-built for asset tracking applications that extends Particle’s platform with geolocation services (mapping and geodatabase) and a configuration service for defining fleet-wide behaviors such as reporting interval on-the-fly. Tracker Services also includes an open firmware application framework for devices that integrates with off-the-shelf IoT sensors and can be deeply customized to support sophisticated tracker applications.
  • T SoM is a powerful, configurable, and extensible IoT System-on-Module (SoM) that provides a powerful MCU, GNSS, and advanced peripherals in a compact form factor. T SoM serves as an accelerated starting point to organizations that require a tailored tracking solution for sophisticated applications as well as a fully-certified foundation for original equipment manufacturers developing commercial products. The T SoM will become available in June 2020. 

Particle’s first field-ready open reference product: Tracker One

The Tracker One

Tracker One is a field-ready asset tracking solution that utilizes the Particle Tracking Services and T SoM to provide customers with an out-of-the-box product that incorporates edge hardware, edge software, cellular connectivity, and software capabilities. Tracker One is fully certified, immediately deployable, and requires no additional development on the behalf of users for a true off-the-shelf solution. 

Tracker One will be coming in July 2020 and a price will be announced shortly. If you are interested in learning more about the Tracker One, you can visit our website here

Introducing the B523 SoM: A LTE-Cat 1 module

The B523 SoM: A LTE-Cat 1 module

The B523 SoM is an all-new LTE-ready SoM to support global cellular IoT deployments around the world. The B523 is built on LTE-CAT 1, a globally available and mature LTE technology designed specifically for IoT devices with 50% the power consumption of 3G. 

In addition to LTE-CAT 1, the B523 also comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and full 2G/3G fallback, making it an ideal solution for navigating increasingly disruptive 2G/3G network sunset initiatives. The B523 features the same M.2 form factor as the rest of Particle’s B SoMs (like the B402) and comes with a full set of regulatory and industry certifications to dramatically accelerate time to market. 

B523 SoM is immediately available for purchase on Particle’s retail store. The B523 also has GA support for Europe today with support for additional international geographies coming later this year. 

Key platform improvements — Intelligent OTA and Long Term Support (LTS) releases for Device OS

We are constantly looking to improve upon our IoT platform, which is why we were proud to announce new additional guarantees of reliability and support for our enterprise customers and mission-critical IoT applications: 

  • Intelligent OTA, which we released in beta since last year, is now generally available to all enterprise customers. Intelligent OTA is built on top of Particle’s industry-leading OTA foundation and enables dramatically faster OTA uptake and provides additional controls  to manage the timing of fleet-wide OTA updates for IoT deployments. If you are interested, you can learn more about our Intelligent OTA offering here
  • We also announced plans to deliver long term support (LTS) releases for Device OS, providing higher levels of reliability and support for enterprise customers deploying mission-critical applications. Our first LTS release, Device OS 2.0, will be released in beta in June and will be made generally available to all Particle customers at no additional cost in August.

What’s next? 

Spectra 2020 is still happening right now. You can click here to join the live stream. This year we have over 2000 IoT innovators gathering online to share their IoT insights.

Your feedback on Particle software, hardware, and ongoing conversations with the Particle team have helped us shape our product with the right tools to support your success. We’re excited to hear what you think and what problem you’ll solve next.