New Product Friday: Photon Phriday

The Particle Photon is here and ready to ship!

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Happy Friday everyone. This week we have something a bit different for you. This week, we started shipping the long-awaited Particle Photon. In addition to the Photon itself, we also have all the shields ready to ship out!

Particle Photon Kit

16 Retired

SparkFun Photon Battery Shield

7 Retired

SparkFun Photon Micro OLED Shield

11 Retired

SparkFun Photon Weather Shield

6 Retired

SparkFun Photon RedBoard

12 Retired

SparkFun Photon Wearable Shield

1 Retired

SparkFun Photon ProtoShield

4 Retired

SparkFun Photon IMU Shield

2 Retired

Particle’s IoT (Internet of Things) hardware development kit, the Photon, provides everything you need to build a connected project. Particle has combined a powerful 120Mhz ARM Cortex M3 micro-controller with a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip in a tiny thumbnail-sized module called the PØ (P-Zero). Want to know more about the Particle Photon? Check out this video below, which goes over the Particle and the ecosystem.

Lastly, we have a little mini-contest this week. Post a comment down below talking about your favorite Photon shield and we'll randomly pick 5 people and send them a Photon Kit. Be as descriptive and verbose as possible. Winners will be drawn on Monday 8/24/2015.

Comments 54 comments

  • sjhaluck / about 9 years ago / 4

    I am definitely going to use the Proto, Battery, and OLED shields to build projects with my class. Small wireless devices that can travel with my students AND be connected to the Internet... now to plan a lesson on responsible use of IoT.

  • unmanaged / about 9 years ago / 2

    I have a wareable belt that the wareable shill would be good for... it is made of elastic and has ws2812b on it... hooked to it is an accelerometer that changes color to move ment.... also working on a skirt for my wife.

  • OldFar-SeeingArt / about 9 years ago / 2

    The Particle Photon looks like the ideal product to solve a problem I am currently fighting. What I would use the Photon system for is tracking the whereabouts of certain individuals that have been lost - or will have been lost in the near future since the ones lost in the recent past would not, of course, have a Photon tracker with them, where ever they are. (It's really their fault that they became lost before we thought of using the Photon...not ours.) The concept is still a bit hazy but the plan sounds decent enough once you've had a drink or two. The Wifi portion would be the trick here - it would help us determine the location of said lost persons by telling us where they weren't. Then the calculation is simple and straight forward - subtract the locations where they aren't from the locations where they could be and pretty soon, you will have the location where they must be.

    In my super secret hidden laboratory lies the worlds first teleportation contraption. And unlike all other similar devices, this one teleports the user from here to the Unseen Universities Laboratory of Incredible Minutiae. Early attempts using the device resulted in users disappearing from this realm and re-appearing in, er, uh, well, we don't exactly know where they went. But we are fairly sure that if we could track them with some sort of device, we can work out the problems in no time as opposed to some large amount yes time. It is believed that the professors at the Unseen Universities Laboratory of Incredible Minutiae likely enough know the answer to this perplexing problem and will part with it if simply given enough beer.

    The particular shield that would solve my problems would be the SparkFun Photon Wearable Shield. We would sew one of these into the garments of the soon-to-be-lost person BEFORE they are lost. (We tried sewing tracking devices into their towels but they seem to continually lose them after consuming one too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters) Then when they inevitably become lost by not being found, the OLED could display a message to them informing them that they are, indeed, irretrievably lost and should probably never have consented to testing the teleporter to begin with. Of course, that's why we have such an enormous EULA for them to cover events just like this one described above. We also believe that we are simply out their jurisdiction, should said lost persons attempt to find a legal remedy. The realm wherein lies Ankh-Morpork has no extradition treaty with any entity in this realm. QED, ipso lo facto, we claim the right of hey nonny nonny and a hot cha cha. To wit, ollie ollie oxen free and no tap backs.

    For further information, please re-read the above.

  • Member #106904 / about 9 years ago / 2

    Unpredictable said is the Weather. While Micro OLED lets us see better. But nothing will work, not even by quirk, Without Battery to power it all.

    To help me with orientation, Use IMU as the foundation. 9DOF in a snap, on a Wearable cap, Plus Battery to fuel the creation.

    A lone fella we know Proto is. But frees us to cust-o-mi-ziz. Forgetting the juice, out of luck I deduce. Until Bat'ry to the rescue again.

    With all of this you can determine. The best Photon Shield SparkFun's been hidin'. Is the Battery Shield, with plenty of yield. Keeps you running 'til AVC '16.

  • MarmotXing / about 9 years ago / 2

    Super stoked for the wearable shield. With the LilyPad ecosystem, there's already a ton of internet-of-wearables resources ready to go.

  • ic / about 9 years ago / 2

    Wow, it's difficult to pick a favourite, I can see myself making good use of the proto, OLED, IMU, and weather shields. However, most of these projects would also make use of the battery shield, so I'd have to nominate that as my favourite. To be truly useful many IoT projects can't be tethered by a power cord.

  • Member #712500 / about 9 years ago / 1

    The best option for me would be OLED shield to use as a great user interface and to help in debugging.

  • chriscrowder / about 9 years ago / 1

    Battery shield. Whole point for the wireless is to get away from being locked down near an outlet.

  • Member #692424 / about 9 years ago * / 1

    I think the SparkFun Photon Weather shield is one of the best products available for use with the Photon. It is extremely well designed and the software guide is excellent. While I had a few problems programming my own version of the software to drive the weather shield those were fixed with the latest Photon firmware update (0.4.4rc3). I am using the Sparkfun Photon Weather shield as a sensor station in school gardens allowing students to remotely monitor garden data from their classrooms. The soil probes are an excellent addition that allow students to move the probes to different parts of the garden, collect data and perform various experiments. One good addition would be a light sensor that could be tuned to the wavelengths used by chlorophyll (both a and b versions). I hope to add light sensors as part of a future expansion of the weather board (thanks for building in the UART and I2C access). Great overall design and a terrific price for use in schools!

  • Colecago / about 9 years ago / 1

    I recently used a tinyduino to make a light up badge holder for a Gencon, a boardgame convention. I'd love to redo the project and add connectivity, either displaying pertinent info (like live tweets or internet weather) or have an interface that people could log onto to change what the badge is doing, kind of like a "hack this" kind of thing.

    To do that, I'd use the battery shield, proto shield for LED's/buttons, and possibly the OLED shield to build into the 3D printed badge. I'm pretty barebones when I do things, so besides the OLED shield, everything is gives the minimum functionality needed to do any remote project.

  • Rodney B. / about 9 years ago * / 1

    I'm probably a little late to the party on this one but I'll post my comment anyway. I would love to get one or more of the Photons and I think the most important shield would end up being the battery shield because ya gotta have power. But if I were buying these I'd probably get a few of them as well as some of what would be the most useful to me, the Proto shields. And I think the first thing I would do is connect it to my thermostat to control my A/C at home. One thing I would really LOVE to try out is hooking up an external power supply and servo motor to adjust the vents around my house, for that I would DEFINITELY need some Proto boards.

  • Oscilloscope Man / about 9 years ago / 1

    I like the OLED shield the best because I love messing around with displays. One time I was playing around with a 7 segment display around the Forth of July. I hooked up the display to my Uno and taped it all to a brick of fire crackers. Then, I programed the display to count down to zero and then say "Happy Forth of July". I almost gave a couple of people a heart attack, so I wouldn't recommend trying this.

  • Member #712500 / about 9 years ago / 1

    The best option for me would be OLED shield to use as a great user interface and to help in debugging.

  • BSOD / about 9 years ago / 1

    I like the new weather shield. I hope to build a weather meter to help me determine this winter the chance of frost on my car windows so I can start my car early if needed in order to defrost it. If no chance of frost, I can get 15 more minutes of sleep!

  • Tiny / about 9 years ago / 1

    I think that the IMU and battery shield would the best shields for me. I am a teacher in a small country high school in South Australia and we enter the UAV Outback high school Challenge each year (

    For this challenge the students need to design a system to drop an epipen from an RC plane to Outback Joe. The problem is they are inside a tent. To know where the plane is for the mission system will make it easier to drop the epipen.

    "What about the children.........."

  • kulky512 / about 9 years ago / 1

    It would be nice to have motor control shield with two H-bridges for home automation projects. This would be my favorite.

  • Member #712365 / about 9 years ago / 1

    My favourite is Photon Wearable Shield because that way I can build my Electronic Business Card to evangelize open source movement

  • Member #372678 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I can't wait to get my hands on the Photon weather shield. I work on the development of new solar panels and I have been wanting to setup a datalogger for my panels voltage and and current. With the weather shield, I can compare the panels performance against weather conditions - such as temperature, humidity, and irradiance- and monitor the panel remotely while gathering data. I am very excited to put the weather shield into action.

  • Crawdad / about 9 years ago / 1

    I think the Weather shield takes the bacon. I've been planning a weather station to keep an eye on the beach, post-hurricane Sandy. It would be great to track this through Sparkfun's data service.

  • Gerdid1 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Well, I have time thinking about getting started to the IoT, but the products I have seen seem too complicated to use. Photon is a good and well designed product to start, it has access to Particle Cloud and a extensive catalogue of shields. For example the Micro OLED Shield working as a "What's happening?" interface combined with the Photon Weather Shield makes possible a Internet weather condition logger.

  • Member #712077 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I would like to use weather shield. I have a vegetable garden 15km apart from the city so it would be nice to monitor remotely relative humidity, and temperature to know the plants needs water or opening greenhouse windows

  • ShadowAx / about 9 years ago * / 1

    Please tell whoever is the mentalist there to stop reading my mind! The Robot Lawn Mower, The Miniature Robot Dog Hair Picker-Uper, The Remote Weather Monitor, The DIY Home Security System, The MailMan Alarm, The Start The Coffee When I Wake Up Not At Some Pre-set Time Thingee, and any number of projects for the RV need, no MUST be now be started as soon as possible. Half the work and all the technical issues seem to have been addressed! Do NOT let my wife see this. If you think I have ideas for this thing wait till "she who must be obeyed" gets ahold of it. My favorite must be...… the Particle Photon itself! (I know, technically its not a shield, but its the shield of power, the shield to rule them all!) My precious , We NEEDS IT, WE WANTS IT, WE MUST HAVE THE PRECIOUS! er....uh.… well OK.... It would be really advantageous to get one of these.

  • cholq / about 9 years ago / 1

    I think that my favorite shield would have to be the Micro OLED shield. There is almost always a need to have some sort of a status display on projects. Often I end up just using a few regular LEDs, but then you have to remember what each one represents. This shield gives you a nice compact little screen that you can just slap right on and start using quickly, and gives you the ability to actually display your info in a more meaningful way than just blinking different LEDs.

  • So where I work we monitor rows and rows of rackmount cabinets full of computer servers. I have long thought about creating a small system that can be mounted in one or more cabs to monitor and report back various environmental information, such as rack temperature, doors open/close, supply voltages, server status, etc.

    The photon with the battery and proto shields and a handful of interface parts look like a wonderful brain for that project because it could be powered from a server USB port, report back on our wireless network, and even talk to various computers and routers on the uart and usb interfaces. One must keep the blinkin' lights blinking! :)

  • Member #57306 / about 9 years ago / 1

    To me the most obvious "must have" shield is the battery shield. I say this because the Wifi capability seems to be a big feature of the Photon... and if your connection to "the rest of the world" is wireless, it seems a bit of a downer to end up tethered, anyway, by the need for power. If I'm not mistaken, the system could then be given a small solar panel to make it indefinitely untethered, depending on where you live. That would make it great for going up on a roof, or in a tree, for weather or security monitoring.

    But a close second would have to be the OLED shield. I am a recent "convert", having just learned how crisp and clear these are. Even at only 0.66" and 64 x 48 pixels, with the powerful processor behind it, I'm sure the display will be more than enough for all sorts of things. Long strings of text could be output by a scrolling algorithm. (Hint, hint... such a generally useful facility would be a great library project for some kind person, wouldn't it?!!)

  • Member #387364 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Great ! I’m very excited about the OLED shield.

  • Sembazuru / about 9 years ago / 1

    I have to say, because I haven't used this platform yet, the OLED shield would be the first shield to get. An immediate feedback output for debugging and learning coding techniques. Second would be the battery shield for the portability it provides. But while learning It would probably be attached to my computer anyway so the first important shield would be the OLED shield.

  • MTMentat / about 9 years ago / 1

    Mmmmm IMU. Time to find out which direction the hovercraft is spinning out of control!! Weather data inside of my [future] greenhouse to control the venting & heaters, oh my!! And last but certainly not least, the bare protoboard, the blank slate to inspire the mind!!

  • Static / about 9 years ago / 1

    I'm pretty excited about the OLED shield. That's going to build me a nice little "Every Day Carry" kit, that goes along with my computer. A handful of components in an Altoid tin, and you can solve a ton of problems and get a fair amount of info.

  • JakeR / about 9 years ago / 1

    The IMU shield may be just what I need for my RC airboat. I have been looking to add an microcontroller + IMU for a while to detect when it is at risk of flipping over (Gusty headwinds can lift the entire boat out of the water and flip it end over end) and actuate a control surface (elevator) to stop that. The small size and low power would be ideal for the application.

  • RobotDude / about 9 years ago / 1

    My favorite is positively the Proto Shield. As a mad scientist I require the flexibility to create just about anything and the Proto Shield delivers. Watch out!!

  • onebeartoe / about 9 years ago / 1

    I like the Weather Shield. I would use it as an environment monitor, for a dog house.

  • Member #406520 / about 9 years ago / 1

    My favorite shield is the proto shield. Why? It's because you can make all of the other shields using this shield. Attach an IMU and you have the IMU shield. Attach an OLED display and you have the OLED shield. You get the picture. :)

  • Member #525949 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I can't wait to try out the SparkFun Photon Battery Shield, and make lots of portable, blinky, internet-connected things!

  • Parizival / about 9 years ago / 1

    For me it has to be the proto shield. It has the most options and uses. It is the most versatile of them all. With out this shield there would only be an infinitesimal amount of possibilities.

    Also as a side note, when will the photon redboard be in stock?

  • MagicWolfi / about 9 years ago / 1

    It has to be the battery shield, a IoTt (IoT-thing ;) without good independent power supply does not makes sense at all.

  • BNelson3 / about 9 years ago / 1

    The ProtoShield looks great all decked out in RED, looks so streamline, and you can't beat the price! I feel I picked this one because I don't want the poor little guy to be left out!

  • jessejay / about 9 years ago / 1

    I like the SparkFun Photon ProtoShield, because it's full of possibilities! I can build whatever I want with it. An alarm clock anyone can control over the internet, or a security alarm. Maybe even a self aware robot with a flame thrower. The possibilities are endless! :)

  • Gizmoguy / about 9 years ago / 1

    I really like the weather shield paired up with the Photon. I've been planning to build a weather station so I can plot our weather with my kids. I really like that the Photon comes with the Broadcom WiFi built in so that I can put a weather station on my garage roof and not worry about cabling between my house and the garage. My original plan did not include IoT in the design of the weather station but I think that it'll be a great learning experience for myself and my kids to figure out how to develop something that integrates web functionality.

  • xsk8rat / about 9 years ago / 1

    Definitely the Photo-Proto! It's the Lewis & Clark of all the shields - enabling exploration into new territory.

    The Photo-Batter makes me nervous. It would be chaos if the digital minions could wander unfettered by their cords. (Shudder.)

  • tcmichals / about 9 years ago / 1

    SparkFun Photon IMU Shield is a good deal, might have to add it to a quadcopter

  • johnventions / about 9 years ago / 1

    I'm a big fan of the OLED shield. The Particle Cloud (Spark Cloud) is great, but nothing beats being able to debug your devices on the fly like that - also great for device interfacing! I've got a few wifi projects in mind that a Photon would be perfect for...

  • MirithD / about 9 years ago / 1

    I really like the battery shield, because who doesn't want power for their devices, and most of the time, with something this small, you'll want it to be portable. Great idea!

  • Member #3812 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I'm partial to the OLED shield. It's a great way to get simple debugging output when developing a stand-alone system.

  • ME heat o nator / about 9 years ago / 1

    The battery shield lends to the small form factor and simplistic idea of the photon. It is easy to love breaking the tether.

  • ManDrake / about 9 years ago / 1

    I like the Photon Weather shield. A compact shield that has all the sensors and connectors you need for a nice weather station in a very small package. I would love to do a setup using this shield for either a normal weather station or perhaps as a sensor inside one of my bee hives.

  • chipaudette / about 9 years ago / 1

    I would love an audio shield, like the one available for Teensy. Yes, I could mod the Teensy audio shield, but it'd be better to get a shield properly configured for Photon directly out of the box.

    If you do build such a shield based on the Teensy approach, it would be great if you could iterate a bit on the power supply filtering...or whatever causes the background chatter on Teensy's audio board.

  • SaberMage / about 9 years ago / 1

    I love that the battery shield has stackable headers and a fuel gauge on board. Just ordered 2 to make flashy toys/sensors for the new baby.

  • Member #589493 / about 9 years ago / 1

    I could see a lot of possibilities for the IMU shield on the photon. I think it would be fun to try making a quad copter with one of these.

  • kirby g / about 9 years ago / 1

    I like the weather shield, looks more compact than my setup

  • Member #133249 / about 9 years ago / 1

    This is great! I especially love the weather shield, and love that it includes expandability!

  • n1taz / about 9 years ago / 1

    I like the OLED shield it would make debugging a remote node a little easier, it could display connection status, IP address, or sensor data.

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