With the imminent release of Polaris, we bet everyone is wondering what the main differences are between it and its predecessor, OpenTracker V2. Both are designed for remote logging, both are excellent as vehicle trackers, both are Arduino compatible. But where do they differ?

That’s why we decided to make a comparison and explain all the added features. 

Let’s compare the main features in the table below:

Arduino Python LiPo battery 2G 3G LTE NB-IOT GPS- GLONASS MikroBUS Extended Storage Accelerometer Ultra-low-power
Polaris YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
OpenTracker V2 YES YES YES YES


Now, we can move on to more detailed explanations.

Ultra-Low-Power

Polaris has extra low power modes compared to OpenTracker and also an ultra-low-power mode that consumes as low as 30uA at 12V.

Arduino compatible, Python programmable

As you can see from the table, Polaris is both Python programmable and Arduino compatible, unlike OpenTracker V2.

Thanks to the Zerynth license on board, Polaris can be programmed in Python right out of the box. Zerynth also allows C/Python hybrid programming. So, you can mix add use some C when you need to.

The full Python application is released open source. Head over to the Polaris product page to download it.

When it comes to Arduino compatibility, both products are 100% compatible. They are natively supported by the Arduino IDE. So you can take advantage of the vast Arduino code base.

Fleet Cloud Management

We will soon be releasing a Fleet Management Cloud platform, and Polaris is a vital part of that. You’ll be able to track a whole fleet of vehicles at once.

All you’ll need to do is add Polaris to your smart cars and vehicles and start gathering the data. For example, we did just that at Tour de Branch with the cooperation of the RS Components and Zerynth team. Thanks to Polaris, attached to two bicycles we were able to track their position, along with weather data and air quality, through the whole UK.

Tour de Branch dashboard

MikroBUS slot

Polaris has another advantage compared to OpenTracker V2 – a MikroBUS slot.

Thanks to the MikroBUS slot you can add numerous functionalities to Polaris, just by choosing which MikroElektronika Click board you want. With hundreds of Click boards too choose from, you can be sure that there’s something for every kind of projects. These add-on boards function as sensors, interfaces, buttons, LED screens, motor control devices, storage, and more.

You can add any new functionality to your Polaris board. Even things like UV sensors and Alcohol detectors.

LiPo battery connector

As you can see from our table, Polaris has a LiPo battery connector. Just by adding the battery you can easily transform Polaris into an IoT node.

What’s even more important is that Polaris is an excellent Open IoT Platform. It can be connected to the Cloud in just a few lines of code. Polaris is ready to collect and manage your data.

Accelerometer and Extended storage

Furthermore, Polaris offers two additional features that OpenTracker V2 does not – an accelerometer and extra storage.

You can use the additional storage provided by the SD card to capture log files and other types of data.

The Serial Flash can hold configuration data or it can be used as a non-volatile buffer for data up to 1MByte in case of network downtime or while traveling areas with poor signal coverage.

The accelerometer is there to give you data on the tilting motion and orientation of the board. You’ll know if the vehicle you’re tracking is going uphill or downhill. If it’s going to tilt or fall.

Stand-alone or in a kit

Both Polaris and OpenTracker V2 are available in a kit as well. The kits include metal casings, antennas, and various accessories. So, you’re ready to use them as soon as you buy them.

After all, both have low power modes, and are ready for any IoT or Industy 4.0 applications.