Supporting the Internet of Junk, however far it goes.
You see, the Internet of Things is on the rise. Surely you’ve heard it knocking on your door by now. Washing machines and ovens all coming equipped with a boatload of functionality that gladly eats up your monthly bandwidth (hey you’re on a budget after buying all that tech). I still don’t really see the point of storing recipes in your fridge when they also stay fresh at room temperature, but I can definitely see how cool the underlying tech is.
I mean fuck, they’re pushing the “IoT” so hard these days that Wifi-enabling hardware (not the slow-cookers themselves) is ridiculously accessible to the average hobbyist consumer. Let me introduce you to the ESP8266, a microcontroller with built-in Wifi capability. It’s dirty cheap, six or seven bucks a piece if you want it bundled with its surrounding components, and let me tell you about its range. As-is, the chip reportedly has a range of roughly 300 meters. That’s already more than you average router!
That’s peanuts though, when you compare that to how it performs with a simple tiny (PCB trace) antenna. Supposedly it gets up to four kilometers of range! Four. Kilometers. I can visit my friend on the other side of town and still communicate with that thing if I really wanted to! Sure you’ll be dealing with god-awful latency, but that’s a fair enough price to pay.
Hang on while I order a hundred of those off eBay.