Pycom is a company born from a love story of Kickstarter, the Tinder of lovestruck entrepreneurs…or something along those lines!
Our first product, WiPy, was crowd funded April 2015 thanks to over 1,300 backers not only keen on innovative products but clearly requiring enterprise grade, wireless and fun/easy to program microcontrollers. In parallel, whilst our technology co-founders were busy building the first KS devices, across the channel, one evening, having spotted the campaign, it was clear we needed to reach out to the team as WiPy had to be the stepping stone to future Py devices.
It may be necessary to explain at this point some ‘Pycom’ terminology. So firstly, whats with the name? ‘Py’ is a diminutive of Python and in particular MicroPython, which is the super fast scripting language that powers all of our devices. The choice of MicroPython was clear from the onset… We wanted to offer the developers’ community a modern, easy-to-program, enterprise grade but running leaner and faster. Faster to program with faster processing which is as a result of the much smaller program file sizes and processing which is derived from MicroPython. Our CTO Daniel is part of a global team of developers who has contributed to the MicroPython Core. I am pleased to say that Pycom will continue contributing to the core MicroPython as we have in the past years. We are all excited about this scripting language and are eagerly tracking the BBC’s Micro:Bit which also features this scripting language… including circa 1 Million devices being sent to British 11-years olds… watch this space!
The ‘Com’ part simply stands for “Communication” e.g. connected devices that communicate via a network. Whereas our first generation of products use WiFi, we will roll-out a number of multi-bearer platforms (watch out for our Kickstarter 2 campaign in Q1 2016) to ensure we give developers, enterprises and students a choice of connectivity platforms. Multi-network is all about resiliency… When your devices are deployed in the field, the last thing you want is to find that the cellular base station is saturated and you cannot connect to your device. You want to then be able to select a different way to communicate and companies call that resiliency.
We call it “giving you network options” and our goal is to put that choice in your hands. We build the devices and you choose the options/versions you need for your application and deployment.
So, getting back to the story! Having spotted from a far the Kickstarter campaign, we set out to make contact with the team behind the product. It was love with WiPy, its size, its powerful spec and the fun applications that people are able to develop that attracted us!
The IoT market has evolved from the use of cellular and therefore widespread applications used either radio, cellular, WiFi, DSL connectivity but what about the future generation of Low Power Radio Wan? What about different types of cellular protocols? what about blending these protocols on one platform so that a user gets choice? This, for our romantic readers, is where the Tinder of Business people comes into play… Having reached out to the core team, we decided on a face to face and met up in a converted farm on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Some would say Love at first sight and others would say a few beers later and a lot of used flip charts! The result was a draft roadmap of nPy devices which we would commit to building over the next 12 months. Since then we have worked non-stop to bring that vision to reality and all I can say is what a journey!
So who are we? We are a team of 5 ‘down to earth’ co-founders with a strong blend of IoT Hardware and Services capabilities. We are people who want to help others build products and connect them! Whether you are one person working in your shed or whether you are a small or medium size company looking to pull data from your devices in the field, or indeed a teacher looking to make classes more interesting teaching students with the use of technology, we have the solution.
Today, the IoT world is split into 2 camps: The developers and students camp where all the fun and ideas are born (they create the story) and the enterprise camp where funds are available (they give the story a platform) but where there is a lack of technical skills to get things connected consistently! This means there is a lack of IoT development taking place and who could blame them? Many companies need to focus on their core product or services business which could involve building a washing machine, a power drill, a street light, a gas meter or providing a service to care for elderly patients in their homes. In a bid to become more efficient through the opportunity of data collection and decision making based on information presented, many companies launch into connecting their products themselves and many end up with their resources and focus tied into planning, launching, maintaining and bug fixing communications units. All of a sudden, the benefits of connected products, supposed to act as enablers of data transmission, are outweighed by the drain on resources of the company delivering the service!
At Pycom, we want to become the bridge between these 2 camps. We want to give the developers enterprise grade tools to build innovative and cool IoT products, and we want to give SMEs the skills, shareware and creativity from our developers’ community in order to achieve great benefits from IoT.
I love reading the surveys from our developers and the creative ideas they have around WiPy. They build super cool stuff which creates a great customer story. I guess you could say we love fuelling those ideas so watch this space!
Someone at Pycom