First Click: This $1 chip will connect your things to the city for free

“If you build it, he will come,” whispered a disembodied voice in the 1989 fantasy-drama Field of Dreams. In time, Kevin Costner’s character grew convinced that “it” was a baseball field even though the “he” remained a mystery. So Costner plowed under his corn field and built the baseball diamond which he painstakingly tended until the arrival of whatever came next.

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The founders of The Things Network (TTN) are playing a similar game. This time, however, “it” is a subscription-free, community-owned LoRaWAN network that now blankets Amsterdam, and the “he” could be any number of possible solutions enabled by the diverse and unimaginably vast array of wireless and battery-operated things coming to our cities.

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