This is a question we get a lot. Probably because the first WiPy was an open-source hardware project.
At Pycom we’re all about sharing, whether open-source or free. The LoPy leverages MicroPython, which is open-source and something that we have continued to help fund e.g. Multi-threading and Garbage Collector. We’ll continue to help fund new features.
We’re committed to enabling developers to continue using our technology in the spirit of open-source e.g. license free. But the LoPy is not an open-source product as somehow we have to walk the balance of giving away great IoT development tools and paying the bills.
The good news is that roughly 80% of what we develop is free. We’ve already launched Pymakr, our free IDE. Pymate, our free mobile app is released later this month. We’re also working on a middleware platform which will be completely free as well as an IoT App store where there will be free apps posted similar to what you see on the Apple App Store.
A lot of companies who do open-source hardware tie their customers into a middleware platform with a monthly or annual fee. At Pycom we believe in letting everybody do what they want with their data and therefore we only ask for a small up front investment. This leaves everyone free to go and play and GO INVENT.