We are pleased to announce the release of the VodafoneUSBModem mbed library, enabling you to connect your microcontroller to a mobile network using a cheap off-the-shelf USB 3G modem!
This extends the networking capabilities supported by the mbed NXP LPC1768 to cover the full range of ethernet, wifi and 3G, so mbed will be even better for rapid prototyping of M2M and IoT devices, however they want to connect to the internet!
Here are some more details of what it enables...
The VodafoneUSBModem library has been under development in collaboration with Vodafone and our mbed beta testers, and is now stable and ready for widespread use. By adding a Vodafone USB Modem to your mbed LPC1768 setup (plus a few wires!), the functionality that you'll have available over a cellular connection is:
- SMS send/receive
- TCP/IP Sockets interface
- NTP Client
- HTTP Client
- Web Socket client
There are of course other protocols that can be supported, and the library has been published as open-soucre under the permissive MIT license, so is open for porting and extension - we expect more features to be published back to mbed.org as the developments get underway!
To give this technology a try, see the Vodafone USB Modem page for information on where to get your modem, how to set up your hardware and some hello world programs for the various protocols and APIs. Take a look at the Internet of Things Demo for some more ideas:
It also works with the upcoming Application Board, meaning you can just plug in an mbed and USB modem and you have a fully functional development platform. Please contact us if you'd be interested in purchasing a complete bundle, as we'll consider making one available if there is enough interest.
The library uses the same Networking architecture as the Wifi and Ethernet libraries, so switching your prototype between the different transport types can be as simple as changing a few lines of code; this addition really makes mbed an ideal prototyping platform for connected microcontroller devices!
Please feel free to comment if you have any interesting or unusual applications! We'd love to hear what you create with this. Now go and prototype your bit of the Internet of Things!