We get a lot of people asking about mesh networking. In the past, mesh was the only way to get the coverage many applications require. Our team has significant experience developing mesh based radio protocols and applications and our choice not to use mesh was based on practical concerns and experience. Mesh networking requires all nodes in the mesh to act as routers for each other. This has several implications. First, it means that the radio must listen always in case another device needs to hop a message to the gateway. Second, it means that every message is repeated many times. Third, it means that every device must keep track of the devices around it to know who is available to route messages. There are more implications, but those three alone show the impact that mesh has on battery life. There are few proprietary mesh examples that have been deployed, but they require very large and very expensive batteries to operate. They are willing to pay this price to get the range they need. Whisker uses LoRa technology and achieves range performance that most mesh networks can't touch. And it does it using a simple star topology. The advantages are profound: long range, long battery life, more efficient use of available bandwidth, no infrastructure of fixed repeater nodes required, and so on. That said, Whisker's protocol is open source so anyone who wants to can add mesh networking if they understand how to write the code and if there application absolutely requires it.
We understand that it is common wisdom to use mesh networking, but Whisker changes the underlying assumptions of that wisdom. We encourage anyone who thinks they need mesh to truly evaluate the reasons behind the need. And please, feel free to ask us questions. There might indeed be cases where mesh still makes sense and we would love to chat about it.