The good news is it comes with onboard Wi-Fi (the Cypress BCM43362 Wi-Fi chip) and USB support, and it costs as little as $19. It’s also compatible with the Arduino…
The company writes:
Based on Cypress’s WICED architecture, the Particle Photon Series combines a powerful STM32 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller and a Cypress Wi-Fi chip. This keeps the footprint small but the function broad.
A Photon Kit, including the devboard, a mini-breadboard, a USB cable and a few basic components, costs $29 (currently sold out on the Particle website).
The microcontroller specs include: the STM32F205 120Mhz ARM Cortex M3, 1MB of Flash memory, 128KB of RAM and 18 mixed-signal GPIO and advanced peripherals
For Wi-Fi, the spec is as follows: it supports single band 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11b/g/n, and Open, WEP, WAPI, WPA and WPA2-PSK WiFi security modes. There are also Ultra low power sleep, stand-by and stop modes. Finally, the company claims wireless data rates of up to 65Mbit/s.
Interesting. May be worth exploring.
Note that, to be precise, the Photon Series has four models: the single unit already m,entioned, Photon in Trays (surface mountable for machine assembly ), the PO module (with a smaller footprint and preprogrammed with Particle firmware), and the P1 Module (as P0 but with a built in antenna and UFL connector).
You can read an article on a Google blog about hooking the Google Assistant to the board – The new maker toolkit: IoT, AI and Google Cloud Platform.
You can see the end result pictured, using the Assistant via a Google Home device.