It has been an absolutely incredible 4 year journey for bluz, to think that I can actually trace the origins of this entire project back to one post is pretty remarkable.
From those early days of prototyping:
To our Kickstarter, to our final production version:
It has been quite the ride!
I have learned an incredible amount, gotten to work with amazing people, traveled to our manufacturers and suppliers in China multiple times, worked with many customers to build projects and products with bluz, and ultimately shipped thousands and thousands of bluz boards. It really is impossible to try and speak about the impact this project has had on my life, so I won’t continue to try, and will simply say it was AWESOME!
But like any great thing, it must come to an end. I built bluz 4 years ago with a chipset that, while modern at the time, is quite lacking today compared with other options. I wanted so much to build bluz-2 along the way as Nordic released newer chipsets, but life got busy and crazy, and the time needed never seemed to materialize.
Instead, Particle recently announced they will pick up that ball and run with it. With their new mesh hardware, the market will receive the latest Nordic chipset on the best IoT cloud available. It is an exciting new platform, and ultimately is the replacement to bluz that I never had the chance to build.
With the de facto replacement for bluz shipping soon, it is time to plan out the remaining lifetime of the project. Overall, I consider bluz a wild success, and am extremely proud of the product. It was inevitable it would come to a close at some point, and I am glad that there is a path forward with Particle hardware for anyone who wants to use BLE for IoT.
So, here is the end of life plan for bluz.
Sales: We have limited amounts of inventory of certain products. They are available on our store and will be until either we run out, or the end of 2018. On December 31, 2018, our store will be taken down and all sales will end. We will also be reducing the price of all our hardware starting today. So bluz boards, which were previously $15, are now $12. Battery shields will go from $12 to $10. Proto shields (which will also work with the Photon\Electron) will go from $5 to $3.
We currently have no further inventory of gateways or gateway shields, but we can hand-make more gateway shields on an as-needed basis. While we don’t want to offer these on our store (we don’t actually make any money as they are low volume and time consuming) we can handle orders on a case by case basis if you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This includes Starter Packs as well, we can still ship them, but please email us as ship times may vary as we have to make them to order. Gateways themselves are out of stock completely and we are no longer shipping them.
Support: We will continue to support bluz until the end of September, 2019. So our forums, GitHub page, website, documentation, and any other support system will work up until September 30, 2019. Until that date, I will still be here to answer questions and help customers. Particle has committed to support us through this date as well, so we will work together to make sure bluz continues to function properly. While we will not be releasing firmware with new features, we will release firmware to fix critical issues or problems if the need arises.
We will keep our documentation, forums, GitHub pages and other resources online and available as long as we can after September 30, 2019, but they may move or be set to read only. We will be sure to keep our website up long after with all current links to where you could find help.
Usage: Your bluz boards that work today will continue to work for years. While we will stop official support on September 30, 2019, the boards themselves should continue to work long beyond that. I have spoken with Particle and they have done similar things with their Core product. Support has ended there, but the devices still work as they don’t make breaking changes to their cloud infrastructure. So we expect bluz to work long beyond the September 30, 2019 support deadline.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to post them and I will give you the best information I can.
Finally, I want to thank everyone here for all the questions, contributions, encouragements, projects, conversations, and everything else over the past 4 years. It would never have been possible without the fantastic Particle community and company, and every customer we picked up along the way. So Thank You All!
- Eric and the bluz team