How to create a cheap low production product?

I have a product idea that is specialized and probably sell only 10 units per a month. It needs to be priced under $75 to be competitive. So the problem is paying Particle to host this product would break the deal.

If I use HTTP and JSON to communicate with a mobile app and a custom website, can I get around using Particles cloud and still be able to allow customers to update the code in the Photon?

The question is what’s the best way to implement a cheap product not required to pay the monthly fee and product data use? Can I run and manage this product outside Particles Product Dashboard? But still use Particle cloud like registered functions and data and be able to update the firmware remotely?


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What 'hosting' would this be?

If you want to update the code OTA, you'll have to go through the cloud. What HTTP & JSON are you thinking about, since that's what the cloud uses as well?

As far as I'm aware, you don't need to use the dashboard, though it definitely makes things easier. You should be able to configure most things on there manually. And if you're keeping the devices claimed to your account, you'll be able to update them as you would with any other device.

Which part of the ecosystem are you actively trying to avoid?

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Just to clarify: With the purchase of the device you’ve got a lifetime privilege to use the Particle cloud for this device.
You’d only need the product dashboard for fleet management and stuff, but not for Particle.xxxx() function calls, webhooks or OTA flashing.

If you got a low volume product which you can manage on a per device basis, you won’t see any extra cost.

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I guess I have a misunderstanding.

If I claim them, how should the user setup the WiFi credentials?

Please tell if I can approach this project this way: Build my product as a single user adding the required sensors. Develop the app and website interface. Then after it’s functioning and completely designed, add the things to make it userable to the public.

Using the app, or softAP. Shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I would indeed first try making a functional prototype before worrying on how to get it public. Sure, that's a thing you need to keep in mind, but getting it working in the first place might be more interesting in the short term.
Then again, I've never made a 'real' product, so I might not be the best person to advise on the matter :wink:

Setting WiFi credentials does not require to have the device claimed to you.
Unfortunately the mobile app setup creates that impression, but claiming and setting WiFi creds are two completely seperate tasks.
And there are multiple ways to set creds alongside the mobile app way - e.g. as @Moors7 said SoftAP or serial or CLI or you can even put some functions into your own application code or …

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I’m excited to complete my first product. This will serve as a springboard to bigger things.

Thanks a bunch

What are you making ;)?

Nothing really too exciting.
But since you asked. It’s a product to assist high tech gardening using a growing method called aeroponics. I call it an aeroponics controller.
You can learn more about it at my website:

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