GSM/GRPS shield (via Arduino)
Arduino comes with a hefty helping of unique features, but using some of them is easier said than done. Example; GSM linkup is available but using it along with GPRS and TCP communications is difficult, so Telefonica has made a physical add-on "shield" to bypass all comm issues. It allows developers to use services that connect machines using Telefonica’s M2M (machine-to-machine) technology, as well as communicating using SMS and voice calls via GSM/GPRS in a cost effective manner. Telefonica is also offering an option to remotely manage Arduino using the shield and the BlueVia website.
The project comes as a development on Telefonica’s "Internet of Things" project that aims to provide internet to anything hardware pretty much anywhere using existing mobile phone technology.
The device is powered via USB and comes with small libraries that run asynchronously so Arduino can do what it needs to as the shield communicates. The shield has a radio module by Quectel that allows the user to remotely control the device using AT (ATtention) commands over a serial port. This radio module uses two pins with a modified version of the NewSoftwareSerial Library, while keeping all native serial ports available.
Developers can sign up to use a BlueVia website to control their Arduino from anywhere in the EU, US and most of South America. This service includes Telefonicas M2M SIM cards.
The shield was demonstrated at Campus Party in Berlin. More details about availability and costs will be announced soon, we all hope.