sounds cool right?
No. That’s a bit stupid IMO.
Here’s my reaction when reading the project page:
Meadow is the world’s first, modern, secure, professional IoT platform.
It combines the best of all worlds; it has the power of RaspberryPi, the computing factor of an Arduino
No, this is just a buffed arduino. While having an STM32 is actually nice, their software stack will take the majority of the processing power. This is nothing close to the raspberry computing power. This statement is plain wrong.
Meadow is a full-stack IoT platform. Out of the box, it gives you everything you need to build sophisticated IoT solutions with very little effort.
If you happen to be working with hardware they actually support out of the box then yes, but this isn’t always the case.
if you need to create a new driver, Meadow comes with protocol abstractions and a driver framework that make adding new peripherals a breeze.
That means very little hardware control, if you want to interface with different chips or chips that don’t fully implement the standard, implement a variation of the standard or even little-used standard features, then you’re in trouble.
Meadow makes it easy to add artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive services
That made me kek. Their definition of easy to add artificial intelligence is just being able to connect to an AI cloud service.
Later they say,
By leveraging Meadow’s 32-bit microcontroller, you’ll be able to run some AI algorithms directly on Meadow without connecting to an external service.
Just, no. You won’t be able to do any real-world AI processing.
It has integrated WiFi and Bluetooth , a ton of IO including digital, analog, I2C, SPI, Serial, and even CAN, so you can even connect it to your car!
The support for CAN actually surprised me but that wouldn’t be that hard to implement with an STM32 or an external chip.
Now, we have this image.
Let’s go point by point
- Curated Hardware APIs: that’s present on both Arduino and Raspberry.
- AI Ready: Well, based on their concept, arduinos with internet connectivity are also AI ready.
- Over-the-Air Update: Hum?? This is obviously present in the Raspberry and is possible in arduinos with some kind of connectivity (Internet/Bluetooth/Radio).
- Embeddable Form Factor: All of the platforms have this. Hell, Arduino would even be better.
- Graphical Display Support: Arduino can drive display controllers. I’m pretty sure the STM32 LCD controller can’t drive most LCDs without a controller chip so you probably would need a controller if you are using Meadow. Raspberry is the only one with actual decent display support.
- Low Energy: (facepalm) Arduino is way better than Meadow in this.
In sum, there is a very limited use for this product. It only makes sense to buy this if you are a .NET developer with little C/C++ knowledge who want to try out IoT as a hobby and doesn’t mind spending this amount of money.