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Intel has recently introduced a new development board with which the company hopes to take wearable technology and the Internet of Things to their ultimate expression. Many developers may already know the Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms, so they can perfectly get an idea of the aim of the new hardware launched by the Santa Clara-based company and named Intel Edison. This new release is presented as an ultra-low consumption development board that, unlike the two aforementioned platforms, is the size of a standard SD card.
Note that in order to have a smaller size the Intel Edison board has a lower performance than other hardware platforms such as the popular Raspberry Pi. Among the technical features of Intel Edison we can highlight its Quark dual-core processor based on the x86 architecture, with 400 MHz and 22 nanometers.
On the other hand, Raspberry Pi measures 8.5 by 5.3 cm and includes an ARM11 processor with multiple operating frequencies and the possibility to increase it (overclocking) up to 1 GHz without losing the warranty. It also has different RAM options, the latest version with 512 MB of memory.
As mentioned above, it is possible to add sensors to Intel Edison according to your development needs. This allows you to work with virtually any device, not just computers, but also mobile phones, tablets, even coffee machines and much more. It also comes standard with wi-fi connectivity and Bluetooth LE (low energy), making it compatible with a large number of devices.
What you can do with Intel Edison
While smart watches, fitness devices and health products are monopolizing the attention of the wearable market, Intel expects Edison to be used as a launch platform for experimenting with new product designs. And to prove it, the company is developing products such as Mimo, a turtle-shaped device that monitors the status of a baby at all times.
This is a chip that attached to the baby’s clothes provides in a wireless manner information on the heart rate and breathing of the newborn. It also displays the temperature and humidity of the room where he is. All this information can be recorded and processed with a smartphone, a tablet or a computer, and it can be used to create statistics on the child’s rest time, for example, by measuring his vital signs.
As far as your imagination takes you
Clothes, toys, tables, chairs, lamps, books, home appliances, doors, electrical installations or vehicles… according to the specialized publication Xataca all these objects can offer some sort of interaction thanks to the measurement of certain parameters which is now possible through Intel Edison. Sensors are essential, as they will determine what to measure and, therefore, what we can do. In addition, this hardware platform will have a dedicated app store and comes with an adapted version of Wolfram pre-installed by default.
Intel wants your imagination to be the only boundary to technological development. For this reason, the company has opted for the creation of a small device, so this technology can be integrated into many places. Thanks to its small dimensions and its sensors, Edison can help provide “intelligence” to a lot of products based on the interaction between analog and digital. In other words, Intel wants to put the hardware so each individual can decided what to do with it, develop the software, and take it to the market.
Actually, Intel is looking for ideas and recently organized a contest under the slogan Make It Wearable to encourage developers to create content for Edison. With a total of 1.3 million dollars in prizes (500,000 to the winner), the deadline for registration was closed in June and the company has just announced the finalists.
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