I have been a professional software developer for over thirty years but with no formal training in electronics or engineering. I am frantically building a series of products to monitor and manage flooding along the Great Lakes watershed; my mission is huge and time sensitive. But before I sold my project to investors, or even myself, I invested hundreds of hours working with Particle products to understand the benefits and limitations of the technology.
As a hardware novice (IMHO) I feel my achievements with particle products have been amazing so far. I started with cellular Electron, then wi-fi Argon and lately cell/mesh Boron with Xenon’s as routers and end points. I have spent a great deal of time exploring and quantifying each device type and I was only weeks away from defining my ideal hardware spec. However, as I narrowed down these technologies with scaling in mind, I found the exact same limitations to the Mesh approach that Zach has explained fairly well. The Mesh devices have been an excellent tool for guarding my home and my business property but the process of scaling it to vast numbers with ease of use was just not quite happening for reasons stated in this thread.
Zach’s announcement therefore does not come as a complete surprise and in many ways I am grateful the company has chosen to proactively pull the plug on what could have been years of frustration for all. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent on software platforms that have gone into the waste bin. As an Apple devote, even before the Macintosh, I can tell you that Apple has abandoned and wasted far more of my time and work than Particle has or ever will; all software and hardware is an evolution.
With all due respect to some on this thread, I have had tremendous support from Particle despite currently being a low volume user. From one on one phone consultations to the Particle Community resources, I cannot fault Particle as its support has been helpful. By contrast, try calling Apple or Adobe and see how that works out for ya!
I very recently ordered and I am receiving this very day the last 8 Xenons available from Adafruit.com so yes I do feel the pain but I am not willing to “throw the baby out with the bath water”. The company has supplied a way forward and if I get another year from these devices I am doing better than many of the tech products I usually buy.
Particle is not the only company doing IoT products and as a business person I am bound to explore all possibilities - doing otherwise would be a disservice to myself and my investors. But I would like to see Particle succeed and its products evolve and refine further. I want Particle to focus on making a ‘ready for prime time’ device that I can build into an IoT product and I need it to be rock solid and scalable; if Mesh is not that solution so be it - I deeply hope we can move on…