Just got a cool-new-products email from one of the Euro-component companies.
Attention-grabbing: a 1" square by very flat SMT lithium cell, 0.7AH, for powering those tiny IoT thingies when it's dark.
So I click, then click through to a distributor: $28 each in quantities of 250. Eek?
Really, now. What "just because it's cool" IoT gadget can you sell at a price consistent with a $28 battery?
We need cheaper energy-storage devices! (Yeah, rather bulkier no-name Chinese lithium cells of similar capacity, intended for use in toys, can be had for under $5 in modest quantities... but apart from the bulk, I'd be concerned about long-term reliability.)
We also need cheaper radio modules. Incorporating an OEM ZigBee module is another market killer, partly because ZigBee is such a big (and subject to licensing) protocol.
Maybe I should dust off Bluebird. My prototypes, several years ago, worked fine, and a transmit-only module drew right around 1µW in standby mode (ready to wake up if an input changed state, so suitable for applications such as motion sensors and doorbell buttons). Never got to the FCC certification stage, but that should be a no-brainer. A super-low-standby-power transmitter module, and a fairly-low-power transceiver module, range of 100 feet or so indoors, provided as little boards with certification? Product idea! (Actually, it might make more sense just to make the transceiver module and have a mode-select pin; TX-only can be slightly smaller and cheaper, but starting with a single hardware article cuts NRE, low-volume manufacturing costs, logistical headaches, and so on. It would also need to incorporate the functionality of a planned-but-never-prototyped third module, the hub.)