I love being able to make send a command from my smart phone application and see my Core or Photon confirm that it has received and applied the change within a couple of seconds. It’s a simple but impressive way to introduce the product capability to a new person.
My question relates to the upcoming Electron. Assuming the Electron is in good radio coverage, and my smart phone has a good data connection, what is the expected round-trip time for a command from the Tinker app through the Particle Cloud down to the Electron and the reverse trip all the way back to my smart phone?
I would be expecting similar performance with using a wifi hotspot shared using a mobile internet and allowing a core/photon to tether while using another mobile phone to toggle tinker stuff
That’s how i think of it anyways
It may be a little quicker on the Electron than what we have now since the electron will use UDP, so on networks with clean signals, there’s none of the TCP overhead.
(UDP support will also be backported to the Photon.)
Cell data is getting much, much faster these days. 3G and especially 4G/LTE are measured in Mbps and have relatively low latency, so one half of the equation won’t change. Considering the size of the packets and, as @mdma pointed out, using UDP, latency and speed shouldn’t be much of an issue on the Electron side, either. If you put it in a Faraday cage, all bets are off, though.
This all sounds very positive. Hmmm. Some thoughts:
The Electron is promoted as a 2G/3G development kit - so 4G/LTE doesn’t seem to be in scope. In the New Zealand telecommunication I worked in a few years back, machine-to-machine communications were seen as a way of getting some return on the aging 2G infrastructure. Obviously 2G is much slower than 3G or 4G. Question to Particle: Are most of the telecommunication companies Particle has signed up providing 2G or 3G data capabilities?
Based on a sample of one (my application) I would expect the Electron to not be transmitting most of the time - because of the bandwidth constraints, etc. My app would radio transmit (aka publish an event) once every 15 seconds. When a radio application transmits after a period of silent, it generally has some hand-shaking to do with the cell tower. Back in the day, this including agreeing transmits power levels, etc, etc. So I would be pleasantly surprised if the performance of a single function call to the Electron over 2G/3G was similar to a WiFi connection. Have trials been carried out? Do we have reason to be optimistic?