Microcontrollers are perfect for IoT devices because they’re affordable, power efficient, and work easily with low-level sensors. But virtually all microcontrollers, including those in development boards like the Arduino Uno, are still programmed in C/C++. While there’s no denying the efficiency of C, most other industries have moved onto more sophisticated development platforms. Thankfully, the Meadow development platform and Meadow F7 board are finally bringing modern .NET programming to IoT.
Wilderness Labs, the company behind Netduino, created Meadow to be “the world’s first modern IoT development platform for professional developers.” The core idea is that today’s IoT devices deserve modern programming tools, and developers shouldn’t be constrained by the low-level C language. Meadow is a secure, cloud-managed development platform that runs full .NET Standard 2.0 applications on microcontrollers. It includes plug and play hardware development thanks to a large driver library and hardware APIs, and over-the-air (OTA) updates. Basically, everything you want for IoT development today.
Meadow is intended to work with many different microcontrollers, but will work particularly well with the new STM32F7-based Meadow F7 development board. The Meadow F7 is both energy efficient and powerful, and even incorporates a JPEG codec for video streams and a 2D graphics accelerator. It includes 15 digital I/O pins, 5 analog-in pins, onboard WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), 32MB of flash storage, and 16MB of RAM. It’s also compatible with the Adafruit Feather format, so there is an entire line of hardware you can use right off the bat.
UPDATE: Meadow is now live on Kickstarter.