Can ESP32 used in Commercial IoT products? Yes, ESP32 has modules and SoC to fit your production need. However, Arduino IDE is not for production. The reason we switched our projects from genuine Arduino to ESP32 Arduino is to broaden the scope. Our IoT guides are around IBM for highest compatibility. Node-red is the most popular IoT control software, which is very easy to use and many tutorials. There are already some commercial products with the ESP32, ESP8266 out there. For production of thousands, it may be more cost-efficient to go with bare chips aka SoC. ESP-NOW protocol is for products like smart lights :
Espressif has mobile application framework (like template) for IoT projects :
ESP32 SoC actually used in the products like the example URLs :
Is there a better alternative for mass production? The modules have the advantage of already being compliance tested, which makes dealing with regulatory agencies much easier, and not having to deal with antennas or other RF design considerations. That usage comes at the disadvantage of higher cost, a bulky form factor and low integration into the product. It is possible to start the mass production with module and later switch to the chip. Chip will have the extra development cost and getting approval.
The ESP series chip is relatively new to the market. It’s short market availability has limited the adoption. There are also many more well tested chips/modules that have better documentation and better support. TI, Silicon Labs, and Microchip all offer chips with similar features. ESP8266 and ESP32 due to their low cost is a huge benefit for the maker/hobbyist market, as well as smaller companies.
Espressif ESP32 gives a fair fight against many of the micro-controllers. Maxim, Texas Instruments, Microchip, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, Silicon Labs, ST and Atmel all provide microprocessors which has a free IDE, yet some provide expensive SDKs. Most of them has a sort of RTOS. Espressif opened up their SDK and development environments to make their hardware accessible, which actually gives more to the embedded development.
Industrial applications do not mean higher quality of code but their stability, performance on load are been tested making sure the software won’t fail. By using modern compilers, programming paradigms, object oriented development, lambdas to anything which can help to get the job done works fine.
This is not the type of article to make the concepts of real life PCB fabrication to packaging as well as real life S/W development clear. We touched the basic. We believe that the readers can search the web to gather more idea, hire experienced engineer to get a clear input on the particular project. Idea and production in modern world demands theoritical knowledge too. Thankfully, today it is too easy to find a great engineer suitable for your need.