@jgoggins The Cradlepoints create a reliable/stable local network, but the remote connection is dependent on the quality of the WWAN, which isn’t reliable depending on location and especially when there are crowds and the airwaves are saturated.
We run OS X and Linux systems on the local network that act as local servers. For the Linux machines we’re working with now we have GPIO onboard, but for the Macs we don’t and we have some finicky USB devices running that seem to have conniptions sharing the USB hub w/ the various microcontrollers I’ve tried (various Arduinos w/ Firmata, digispark, pymcu).
Basically, right now all I need is for the spark core to act as a glorified light switch - it wouldn’t make sense to require an Internet round trip (especially as that sort of latency would be terrible experience) - I think in many (most) use cases, having a local option is pretty important since it’s hard to guarantee net access in a lot of production environments, so I’m glad that’s an option (one of the reasons that the Electric Imp is a no-go for example).
(Right now I am actually using a RPi to drive some circuits and I have some Beaglebone Black’s that I’m using as well. Actually about the same price and pretty stable, but seems like a bit overkill if we can just have something dead simple/reliable.)