1 2 3 Previous Next

Internet of Things

415 posts


Over the past 12 months you have heard a lot from Omate! On the back of its million dollar Kickstarter campaign back in 2013, Omate has become one of the most successful smartwatch brands globally. Two fantastic new ARM-based products have been launched this year alone and have been greatly received.

Omate-X is the latest edition, it has an ultra low-power ARM processor at its heart giving you a week of battery life along with an ultra sleek and stylish design. ‘Less is more’ encapsulates the Omate-X design ethos and is an ideal companion smartwatch for people looking for an elegant and fashionable watch for everyday use.  Furthermore, the Omate-X works with both Android and iOS operating systems and displays push notifications such as incoming calls, social media updates, and reminders straight to your wrist.


Omate-X has marked a new direction for the company and brings an ultra-low power tethered watch with fashion and design style at its heart. The Omate-X was launched in August 2014 and is based on an ARM powered MediaTek Aster chipset. The combination of Bluetooth Low Energy tethering to your smartphone and ultra-low power screen gives over a week’s battery life.


Enter the Competition

We are excited to be offering you an opportunity to win the very latest Omate smartwatch. Answer a simple question for your chance to win your very own device.

Click here to find out more


Find out more about Omate…

Webinar - Building the Wearables Revolution with ARM IP

ARM and Omate present on the wearables device market, the webinar provides an overview on the market and use cases, details on key design aspect such as designing for low power, enabling always-on sensing, and will show how use cases drive requirements. Attendees will also learn how the role of software impacts wearable device battery requirements and form factor.


Click here to watch the webinar

Recently in China wearable devices have paved the way for disruptive innovation in the market, armed with low prices and new services similar to the comparably mature smartphone market. After the release of smartwatches from the leading companies such as Samsung, LG, and Sony, Chinese global electronics companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi have followed suit. They have developed innovative devices with accompanying services. Consumers can in fact already buy hundreds of different wearable devices from websites such as; Alibaba.

Moreover, this trend for new services and a plethora of wearable devices has been proliferating in the other Asian countries as well. In India, Le Chal has introduced smart shoes, this product integrates with Google Maps through Bluetooth and guides the user wearing the shoes to their destination. Asia University in Singapore won the Red Dot Award with a design concept for a set of rings and bracelets that translates sign language into voice or text. These translation devices are expected to help people who do not understand sign language to efficiently communicate with others who need to use sign. These examples reinforce the feasibility of this emerging technology.

In China new services are being built around the wearable devices with the help of OEM's and service providers. In the healthcare market the rapid aging population is driving up the cost of nursing and patient care and in turn advancing the
development of new medical and healthcare services using wearable devices. Companies such as Etcomm and Dataclub have teamed up to provide services for home care and home diagnosis, and medical wearable devices are being manufactured by several companies such as Huawei and Tenghai Syiyang.

Compared to the smartphone market, however, the wearable device market has distinct differences that need to be ironed out before the market can grow to its full potential. The software development cost is high due to the small-quantity batch production of such devices. Security to protect the privacy of users is an issue and the limited battery power due to the small size of devices is challenging.


In order to curb the cost of software development, ARM has partnered with Hisilicon, Spreadtrum, ZTE, Allwinner, Mediatek, and Qualcomm to fund the Linaro Community which optimizes several Linux based Rich OS's for the ARM architecture and enables the state-of-the-art technologies that ARM has to offer. In addition to this partnership ARM has established the mbed community, this platform provides not only SW components but productive programing frameworks, tools and collaborative workflows of the web in order to support "simple wearable devices".

In the security domain, Cortex-A based devices can take advantage of the Trusted Execution Environments using "TrustZone", simple devices can use the end-to-end security solution provided by mbed community.

When considering power consumption ‘Right Sized Computing’ is important, optimized implementation and processes are essential. Optimizations can be achieved by using an ARM core that is configured for low power consumption and application-specific configurations using the appropriate physical library. Additionally, mbed OS has been designed to achieve the low power consumption.

ARM and its partners plan to share all solutions in the upcoming Wearable Week China (Dec. 15th-21st).

Energy and Power Needs, Cypress and Spansion Merge, Arduino Smart Home, Bitcoin Mining, Apple Pay, Microsoft/Google/autoGraph, Eutech Cybernetic taps Orange Business Services, IoT doorway to Violent Crime


ARM_Home_Adurino.pngShowing off the building and assembling of the iot House. Check out the videos and demo model in:Building an Arduino-powered Smart Home Model, captured in the ARM Connected Community blog by Joe Hanson . Thanks to the home’s architect/PubNub Evangelist Ian Jennings, he walks through the process of building the home from scratch (with .gifs).




Read the complete IoT blog review at "IoT Embedded Systems"

In support of Kickstarter Week, here are some current and recently funded ARM-based Kickstarter projects to take your home to the next level.


Sense Kickstarter.jpg

Sense: Know More. Sleep Better.

Young entrepreneur James Proud and his team feels you need to understand why you slept a certain way. Sense recently crushed their Kickstarter campaign goal and raised $2.4 million from nearly 20,000 backers and the $129 sleep monitor system is set to start shipping in February 2015. The simple system not only tracks your sleeping behavior, but it also monitors the environment in your bedroom by watching for noise, light, temperature and particles in the air - so now you will know exactly who and what to blame when you wake up.


Sense (which includes an ARM Cortex-M0 and an ARM Cortex-M4 processor) also has an innovative alarm that wakes you up at the best time possible - the waterproof Sleep Pill (with an ARM Cortex-M0 processor) sensor attaches to your pillow case. If you set your alarm (through their mobile app) to wake-up at 9:00, but it senses movement at 8:45, your alarm will go off instead of waiting for you to fall back into a deep sleep and force you awake later feeling groggy.


Kickstarter page: Sense: Know More. Sleep Better. by Hello — Kickstarter




Pantelligent: Intelligent Pan - Cook Everything Perfectly

No need to stress out on giving your guests Salmonella or ruining dinner because you were distracted chasing around your two little kids. MIT Engineer, Humerto Evans is on a mission with his patent pending smart frying pan to help us all out in the kitchen. Pantelligent (using an ARM Cortex-M0 processor) has already surpassed their campaign goal with nearly a month to go.


Plan on cooking salmon for dinner? Use the mobile app and enter the salmon's thickness, then by tapping your smartphone to the pan's handle, it'll let you know when the pan is ready for you to start cooking. The temperature sensor in the middle of the pan sends real-time data to the mobile app and will alert you when to flip it and when it's perfectly cooked.


The pan is a bit pricy, you can pledge $199 and be one of the first to own one of these smart frying pans.


Kickstarter page: Pantelligent: Intelligent Pan - Cook Everything Perfectly by Humberto Evans — Kickstarter




emberlight: Turn any light into a smart light

Screw your existing dimmer light-blubs into emberlight and they'll of a sudden become smart. Emberlight's bluetooth proximity awareness technology will automatically turn lights on or off as your enter or exit the room which will help on your energy bill. Want to set the mood at dinner or when a movie starts in the living room? You can dim the lights from the mobile app. It can also act as a security system by enabling you to turn your lights on while you're away on vacation.


Emberlight raised over $300,000 on Kickstarter and available for pre-orders via their website (set to ship this summer).


Kickstarter page: emberlight: turn any light into a smart light. by emberlight — Kickstarter


The Mister.jpg

The Mister: Save 30% on your A/C Bill

Reduce your carbon footprint while saving money. The Mister (using an ARM Cortex-M0+ processor) works by emitting mist around your A/C unit and as the mist evaporates, it pre-cools the air - so it runs less often and uses less energy while it's running.


Their Kickstarter campaign will help them fund some key improvements from their beta version they released last year - adding WiFi, solar panel and water treatment system to help with efficiency. Track all of the savings and control the unit from the mobile app - oh yea, and you'll receive a 30% Green Tax Credit.


Only five days on their campaign  - they've already raised nearly $150,000.


Kickstarter page: THE MISTER : SAVE 30% ON YOUR A/C BILL by The Mister — Kickstarter



Blossom: The Smart Watering Controller

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, we spend up to 60% on our home's water on outdoor irrigation with over half being wasted. Blossom (based on an ARM Cortex-M3 processor) utilizes real-time local weather data, satellites and meteorologists to automatically personalize a watering plan based on the amount and duration of precipitation - making your yard smarter and even adapts your watering schedule based on layout, vegetation and sprinkling type.


You can easily replace your out-dated sprinkler control panel with Blossom "in less than 15 minutes" all while using your existing wiring valves and sprinklers. Download the app and then let Blossom save you money on your watering bill.


If you back Blossom ($129) before December 17th, they'll send  a card that you can place under the tree before it ships in March.


Kickstarter page: Blossom™: The Smart Watering Controller by Blossom — Kickstarter


Maid Oven.jpg

MAID Oven: Make All Incredible Dishes

Time to ditch all of those cookbooks (if you haven't already) and wasting time searching for recipes on the web. To compliment Pantelligent, the smart frying pan, you can compliment it with MAIN, a smart all-in-one (convection, microwave and top-heater) oven. MAID uses a crowd-sourced Recipe Store where chefs and cooking enthusiasts across the world can upload recipes - which then will give you step-by-step voice instructions and visuals on whatever dish you wish to make. Then it will of course automatically set the temperature and time.


But, that's not all MAID does. It also has a personalization engine that learns what you cook regularly, tracks your activity using data from your phone and smartwatch and gives you suggestions for a healthy balanced diet. MAID also prompts you to work out, take a walk, may be go for a run based on the calories you consumed. Are you hands wet or covered with flour?  You just control MAID through voice commands or gestures.


Their Kickstarter page states they will be shipping at the end of next year, and for $449 you can own your very own MAID.


Kickstarter page: MAID Oven - Make All Incredible Dishes by SectorQube, Inc. — Kickstarter


Home Pod.jpg

The World's First HomePod

Turn any wall or surface into a big screen. The KEECKER HomePod (based on ARM Cortex-A9 processors) has a 360° sound system, 360° panoramic camera, 90° smart projector and moves on its own as you control it with a mobile app. Want to watch your favorite sporting event outside? No need to worry about taking your big screen TV outdoors, then all of the troubles that come along with it  - the HomePod eliminates all of these troubles with a complete wireless solution.


Not only does it provide a great TV experience, you can also download and use any of your favorite apps - so now you can play any mobile app game or video chat on an enormous surface. KEECKER will also keep you updated on your home while you're away - by informing you if it senses motion and/or the temperature of your home, then reporting it back through the mobile app.


If you didn't back it during their campaign, pre-orders will be opening soon via their website - not sure on the final price point, but were looking for pledges at around $2,500 on Kickstarter.


Kickstarter page: The World's First HomePod by KEECKER — Kickstarter



Homey, The Living Room - Talk to your home

Removing the touch aspect from all of your connected devices. Homey works with most of the smart devices on the market today (Sonos, Nest, Spotify, Bose, Samsung, Hue, Phillips, AirPlay, GE plus more) and acts as a voice-controlled living hub to control all of your intelligent connected devices. Inside, there are seven wireless modules (ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, nrf24l01+, 433.92 MHz) and a powerful infrared LED so all the hardware to communicate is included. Talk to Homey to turn on your TV, change the thermostat or dim your lights - all while sitting on your couch.

For developers, Homey is open-source and works with apps written in JavaScript - so with a few lines of JavaScript, you can tell Homey to play your friend’s favorite song when they enter your house with your homemade nfc door lock.


Set to ship this summer, you can pre-order Homey for $370.


Kickstarter page: Homey, The Living Room ― Talk to your home! by Athom — Kickstarter



To see more ARM-based Kickstarter projects, check out the new curated page with over 50 successful campaigns: ARM-based Projects — Kickstarter


Launched today: ARM's Curated Page on Kickstarter.com

50 innovative ARM-based projects are featured on ARM's new curated page on Kickstarter.com. These are independent projects from innovators who are pioneering markets like the Internet of Things and wearables. The sheer diversity of projects is amazing - virtual reality headsets, connected irrigation, even low-cost DNA diagnostics machines. Pebble watch is a great story of a consumer product being launched with Kickstarter and in turn, kickstarting the wearables market - from a student with an idea, to raising $10m. But Kickstarter is also bringing to life small batch projects aimed for specific communities, addressing markets that were outside the scope of mass manufactured products.


As of yesterday, we counted $38.5m in funding for ARM-based projects achieved through Kickstarter alone, and those are just projects we've heard about - and it's growing all the time. For some of the projects, crowdfunding was just the start. As this article from CB insights highlights, over $300m in VC funding has been secured by hardware start-ups subsequent to successful crowdfunding campaigns, not to mention notable acquisions like Oculus VR.


Below are a few of the projects on our new 'ARM-based projects' curated page on Kickstarter:




3D printer, scanner and laser engraving

Open qPCR

Accessible DNA diagnostics
Pioneering wearable


The power of choice

Above all, this further demonstrates that we've moved beyond the 'one-size-fits-all' era into one where creativity, collaboration and choice are pushing back the boundaries of where Embedded technology is applied. Crafting for efficiency is vital, especially for battery-powered Internet of Things and wearables devices that are squeezing more function into ever smaller, and more diverse, form factors.


This is why the ARM partnership is essential. There are over 3,000 catalog MCU parts based on ARM Cortex-M alone. There are a multitude of accessible ARM-based development platforms spanning from Arduino Zero and Arduino Due (Atmel - ARM Cortex-M0+, ARM Cortex-M3), Beagleboard (Texas Instruments - ARM Cortex-A8), ODroid (Samsung Electronics - ARM Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7), Raspberry Pi (Broadcom Corporation - ARM11), and many others. Of course although the hardware comes in all shapes and sizes, there are easy-to-use software tools and operating systems that span it. This is the beauty of the ARM architecture and ecosystem! I presented at MakerCon New York 2014 about exactly this (see video on right).


So we're celebrating the collective creativity of Kickstarter projects and the ARM technology making them possible.


I can't wait to see what comes next.

To see more ARM-based Kickstarter projects see ARM's curated page on kickstarter.com.

Are we missing any ARM-based Kickstarter Projects? If so, please comment below with those that you know and I'll add them to the page.

We are also hosting Kickstarter Week - view the following document for all related content published during the week Kickstarter Week - 8 -12 December


Each year EDN highlights the electronic industry's most significant products of the year based on innovation, significance, usefulness, and popularity in their '100 Hot Products' of the year. This year ARM® mbed IoT Device Platform was selected in the 'Boards & Development Tools' category!

EDN 2014 Hot 100 Logo.jpg

Down the road we may build a full sized smart home, but for now we figured a model home laser cut out of Eucaboard would do just fine for now.


We wanted to showcase how home automation, Arduino, and PubNub go hand-in-hand-(in-hand). More importantly, we wanted to show how important reliable, realtime connectivity is for building a fully-featured home automation solution.


As a result, our Arduino connected home was born. In the story below, the home's architect/PubNub Evangelist Ian Jennings walks through the process of building the home from scratch (with .gifs!). In the future, we'll roll out a technical tutorial so you can build one yourself.



Back in September, our founder Stephen and I were talking about ways to make it easier to demonstrate where PubNub sits with the Internet of Things.


Attendees at conferences often ask if we're a “hub,” a bluetooth device, etc. In reality, we’re a data stream network; a service similar to a CDN that provides a simple and reliable way for IoT devices to talk to each other. I decided instead of telling people people what PubNub is, we should show them. If I handed you a mobile phone and told you to press a button and then a garage door opened, you would understand that the phone sent a message to the garage door (via Arduino remote configuration).



How did it send the message? That’s PubNub.



So I built the garage door, and a front door, and some lights, and a house, and a mobile app, and I recorded every minute of it. You can check out that video below:


The PubNub IoT Model House from PubNub on Vimeo.


Why a house?


When I think IoT, my mind goes to home automation. It's a great use case of a number of different connected devices where reliability and security are paramount. In this case, the house is a single IoT device that represents any number of devices.


I started by looking for a suitable “house.” Originally the idea was the have the house fold down so it could be packed and shipped around to conferences. This lead me to believe laser cutting was the best option, because the “snap fit” ability is not only sturdy, but portable.



I eventually stumbled upon this CAD file of a house from “The Simpsons.” It was extremely well designed and only $15. I took a 2 hour lesson here at ATX Hackerspace and learned how to use the laser cutter. A couple days later my roommate came home with some extra Eucaboard.



I wasted half of the board because Corel Draw determines scaling settings when each file is opened. Apparently I cut all 4 laser files at different scales, so none of the pieces fit together! Once I figured this out I had a clean cut.


From there I needed to glue the smaller parts like the windows and chimney. No need to set these up on the road.



It turns out gorilla glue is extremely messy because it expands over time. This created a bunch of huge solid glue globs that completely ruined the aesthetics of the house. I used a dremel to cut away at the excess glue. It took me a while but I definitely leveled up my dremel skills.


Then I started prototyping. I used an Arduino Uno Rev 3 and an ethernet shield to get up and running fast. I started with a breadboard, LEDs, and used electrical tape to test mounting the servos.

Hooking Up PubNub


Everything checked out so I started to hook it up to PubNub. We have drivers for Arduino which made it really easy.


I used a Seed Studio Ethernet Shield v2 to provide an internet connection to the IoT house. I didn’t have an Ethernet port around, so I was using my Macbook’s Internet Sharing setting to share the WiFi network connection to the Arduino. There were some slight modifications I needed to make for the SS v2 drivers to work with our v1 library (a full post about this fix coming later).


I opted to use a key value syntax to process messages. As you can see in the video, it was as simple as “garage:0” or “lightLeft:1” to close the garage and turn the left light on.



When I verified that this worked correctly, I soldered everything into a separate board that could be mounted inside the house.



Looking back now, this board should have been a “prototype shield” for Arduino but at the time I thought it would be so simple that it wouldn’t require an entire shield. This was a mistake, and there are now 7 extra wires that would have been unnecessary with a shield.


I built a simple UI in a CodePen to publish PubNub messages on the same channel the house was listening to. I then mounted the LEDs in the house, drilled mounts for the servos and connected them to doors, and mounted the circuit board and the Arduino + Ethernet shield to the house.


It worked!...


About half of the time.

There was something really strange about the behavior. I would have a great connection to PubNub and everything would work… then suddenly it was completely broken. I noticed that something was amuck, and I suspected it was the internet connection.


I dug down into the network, spending many hours looking at WireShark for hints and configuring the WiFi network.



I tried things like assigning an IP address to the Arduino, making sure the MAC address was correct, and even ordering a second Ethernet shield from a different manufacturer and switching from driver-supported USB to native Thunderbolt sharing. Eventually I was able to isolate the problem.


Whenever I opened the garage door, the ethernet shield would reset. I laughed, in what other situation could opening your garage door possibly destroy your internet connection?



Arduino Board Limiters


Arduino board has limiters in place that prevent you from drawing too much power through the board (and frying it). Every time the garage door opened, the servos were drawing all the current, not leaving enough for the Arduino and Ethernet shield to properly function.


I tested my theory with a few external power supplies. When I verified it fixed the problem, I wired in the battery pack you can see in the video.



That was it! I had the working prototype.


Assembling the IoT House


I showed it to my team at PubNub over video chat. They loved it, but seemed a little concerned about how to assemble it. After all, there were about 20 wooden pieces that fit like a puzzle, and then another 20 wires.


There was also a new plan. Now we had a deadline; an upcoming IoT conference in San Francisco. In addition, I wouldn’t be going with the house. It was going right to our CEO Todd who was attending the show.


I started to second guess my original plan of shipping the house to be assembled on spot.


My co-worker at ATX Hackerspace picked up an awesome Pelican case to carry his function generator and other crazy electronic gizmos safely to his clients this same day. He gave me quick demo and ensured that this was the way to go. I plopped the assembled house on top of the case and verified it would fit inside. Later that day I drove over to Fry’s and got one myself.


I glued the house together and decided I was going to ship it in as few pieces as possible. I glued the house walls together, cut out the styrofoam, and fit the house snugly inside the Pelican case.


Then I threw it off a table, kicked it, and tossed it down stairs.


I figured that I would subject the house to the worse torture possible while I could still fix it. Who knows what kind of abuse it will need to endure in shipping?

The house survived with minor injury.


I decided it was time to show this thing off. Test it in a live environment.


Showcasing the IoT House


I took it to HackTX, a hackathon hosted at the University of Texas here in Austin and run by my new pal Taylor. My other good pals Swift and Jon happened to be in town too.

I found a seat next to the students and set up the house. I repeatability assured the other contestants that I wasn’t going to be competing for any of the prizes.


There was a problem. I was connected to the UT campus internet, but their security settings prevented the network from being rebroadcast. I couldn’t share the WiFi from my Macbook to the Arduino. I learned after the fact that there is some way around this, but didn’t look to far into it.


Instead, I decided it was time to make this thing wireless. I did 30 minutes of research and decided I was going to replace the Arduino Uno and the WiFi chip with the newer Arduino Yún board. In addition to the WiFi chip, Yún has a second processor that runs Linux.



What better time to get this thing set up then at a hackathon? My roommate Nick showed up to the hackathon, so we both jumped in my hatchback, rolled down the windows, and cruised to a Radio Shack in South Austin. I called to confirm they had the chip, it wasn’t available at every Radioshack.


We didn’t support Yún at the time so I used our REST API documentation to write my own client. I really wanted JSON support and getting it to work with Arduino was difficult.  It took me the entire hackathon, but by the end…


It was complete.


I bought an external battery pack and a WiFi hotspot. I chiseled little spots out of the Pelican case to fit them in, and configured the Arduino to automatically connect to the hotspot.

The I went to Harbor Freight and bought a toolkit, extra tools, a soldering iron, etc. I rounded up extra servos, LEDs, wires, and wrote a debugging guide in case something went wrong with the house. I also recorded a video about how to take the house out of the case and set it up.


Then I dropped it off at FedEx. Overnight shipping to California.


The worst wasn’t over. Now it was time to wait for the call from our CEO Todd so I could walk him through setting it up.


I didn’t get a call, but instead a couple emails.  One at 6:43am said:


I wasn’t.

“If so, call me. Starting set up now.”

Another arrive at 8:20am. I was awake for this one. It read:

“All works!”

I fell back asleep.


Wrapping Up


Working on this project was incredibly difficult yet also very fulfilling. I don’t have any formal electrical engineering experience, I’m a web developer by trade. I haven’t learned this much this fast since graduating college.


I was working extremely long days to meet the deadline. I would spend the entire morning just shopping for the right components, screws, glue, or paper. Then I would work, sometimes until 3 or 4am, getting everything together.


Thankfully Arduino makes things simple and I had a great network of people who helped me each step along the way. Alex, in particular was extremely helpful with electronics and another member of the space, Riley, spent on late Friday supplying me with every tool and component I needed during assembly like a surgeon’s assistant.


The IoT house is on display at the ground level office at 725 Folsom in San Francisco. It will also be displayed at upcoming IOT conferences which will be announced on our blog. If you would like me to give a talk about building IOT house at your conference, you can reach me at ian@pubnub.com.


Now to convince PubNub to get me a drone...

Bob Monkman and I visited the Layer123-organised SDN &OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf last month; this is one of a series of worldwide events, and besides being one of the main events (>1300 attendees) covering the Network Function Virtualisation (”NFV”) topic, this was also a major event where our partners presented their ARM-based NFV proofs of concept (“PoCs”).


First things first – NFV: the communications network industry is reshaping over the coming years; networking is moving from embedded to open virtualised systems with commonly available standardised software stacks, and the operator (through standardisation body ETSI)-led NFV initiative brings more flexible networks by virtualising entire network parts. ARM is at the center of this through our work with standards bodies and partners, e g Linaro and their work on OpenDataPlane aiming at open source cross-platform data plane APIs, and Linux Foundation and their work on Open Platform for NFV bringing together open source software, integration, testing, optimising and filling gaps, aiming at an open source carrier-grade reference platform accelerating NFV introduction. ARM and partners work with silicon and software partners using core software developed under the Linaro umbrella, to enable the market with NVF PoCs that are submitted to the NFV community with operator sponsorship. In each PoC certain network functionality is configured for ARM-based SoCs, and performance and functional requirements are then tested, documented and published.


At the congress, the main ecosystem players including silicon vendors, network infrastructure and server providers and worldwide operators working with NFV gave presentations about their activities as NFV picks up speed, and Linux Foundation presented the Open Platform for NFV project which in turn was referred to by other speakers as the project that will make NFV happen. Several key vendors demonstrated ARM-based solutions including our partner AMD showcasing Virtual Evolved Packet Core and architecture interoperability using a streaming media usecase which got the vendors and operators we met keen on further engagement.


Broadcasters and media operators are also involved in NFV as work is ongoing around virtualization of the network nodes close to the consumer, e g the home gateway and the set-top box ("STB"), allowing for much of the traditional STB functionality to move into the cloud with media landing on various cloud-connected devices.


We will see lots of action in the near future – operators and infrastructure vendors are working with ARM-based solutions so watch this space!

In support of ARM Wearables Week, I browsed Kickstarter for active ARM-based wearable campaigns and it wasn't hard to find one that was using one of our ARM Partner's technology. Below is the final (here are the others Pip, a GPS and activity tracker for dogs and cats and Arki by ZIKTO believes every movement matters) crowdfunding wearable project I will be featuring this week.


All-in-one Gadget for Sport and Wellness

SensoTRACK is an innovative device unlike any other. The gadget fits comfortably on your ear, where it senses, tracks and manages a range of biometric and activity parameters. SensoTRACK measures heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiration rate. It counts steps, calories burned, senses your speed, activity level, geolocation, altitude, body posture, and pace, while tracking parameters you enter, such as weight, body mass index (BMI), blood sugar and emotional state. It also takes into account your specific activity – walking, running, cycling, etc. – and models its measurements for that form of activity to more accurately gauge performance.


The built-in speaker speaker enables users to receive notices during your workout, which can also act as a personal trainer. The personal trainer uses SensoTRACK's on-board sensors to get a comprehensive overview of the activity and how your body is responding, formulating its advice accordingly. This allows the personal trainer algorithms to react dynamically to the activity, helping you push your limits and motivating you to reach your workout goals. The speaker also allows the user to control music from your smartphone. See below for a demo.



During the development, they have secured two patents for their proprietary technology: Continuous non-invasive blood pressure monitoring system and; Method and apparatus for ambient noise cancellation in PPG (Photoplethysmography) sensors. For developers, they have protected and developed their propriety technology so it can be licensed to third parties to integrate for development and integration into your own applications.


For a $199 pledge, you can be one of the first to own the device - they have 21 days to go on their Kickstarter campaign Wearable Biometric Earphones for Fitness and Health by Sensogram Technologies, Inc and need your help to get them to mass production.

Get to know more about the Founder and CTO of SensoTRACK, Dr. Vahram Mouradian.



Developer Background:

I hold a Ph.D. in Computer Science, and a M.S. in Electronics Engineering, along with thirty years of experience in Electronics, Semiconductor and Medical Technology fields. I’m the former Founder and CEO of four companies in the semiconductor and medical devices industries with the exits through M&A with private and publicly trading internationally recognized companies. Seasoned in managing international companies and teams across the USA, Europe, and Asia.


Favorite wearable?

Initially, I wanted to know how my activities affect my body. Therefore, I started collecting all sorts of gadgets and devices that measure vital signs to make experiment on myself - but, because none of them were able to provide a sufficient level of information and accuracy, I started to design a technology that will allow me to get the information I was looking for. This was the start of SensoTRACK. Despite a few devices that have interesting features or design; their limitations keep them in a category that does not allow for providing the level of reliability and versatility I’m expecting.


Tech Inside:

Based on STMicroelectronics' STM32L1 series MCU (ARM Cortex-M3), the technology is a combination of light and small sensors (gyroscope and accelerometer from IvenSense) that continuously ready the vital signs. The onboard electronic processing allows to filtering (electro-magnetic, light, and motion artifacts with our proprietary cancellation system using components from OSI Optoelectronics) and analyzes the data trough dedicate advanced algorithms. The hardware device transmits the data via Bluetooth LE (by a Texas Instruments solution) to mobile devices (smartphone or tablet). The mobile application ensures providing the relevant information the proper way at the right time, and allows the user to manage his or her workout sessions, history, calibration, and other parameters that make the applications friendly to use, efficient, and comprehensible. The secured cloud allows real-time, remote monitoring over the web portal, which provide equivalent features that the mobile application. At each step of the storage and transmission, the data is encrypted to keep the eco-system fully secured. The integrated high quality miniaturized speakers add SensoTRACK music listening and virtual coaching capability. The carefully selected battery and its implementation allow for up to twenty-four hours of use for maximum mobility and performance. All technologies combined make SensoTRACK a useful, versatile, and enjoyable device to use on a daily basis.


Most challenging hurdle you had to overcome in creating SensoTRACK?

The proof of our new technological innovation concepts and it takes to build a prototype to prove the concept. Having developed smart formulas is not enough these days, it has to be the commercial viability behind.


Advice for a developer that would like to create a wearable product?

Find an unfulfilled need or a better solution to a problem, and focusing on a single core idea. Making a strong concept proof, and keep mastering your domain to stand ahead of the curve and to distinguish yourself. After setting up a good ground, expansion can take place.


What’s the future hold for SensoTRACK?

Medical remote monitoring devices, fitness and wellness monitoring, and importantly, the feedback mechanism based on the data. Future products include offerings for medical, healthcare, and fitness and wellness markets.



To learn more or to become a backer of SensoTRACK, visit their Kickstarter campaign: Wearable Biometric Earphones for Fitness and Health by Sensogram Technologies, Inc. — Kickstarter

Chinese Version中文版:高通和第六感

As part of ARM Wearables Week - 17 - 21 November 2014 - #ARMWearablesWK we (Lori Kate Smith and me) spoke with Pankaj Kedia, Senior Director and Business Lead for the Wearables Segment at Qualcomm.


Qualcomm are excited about wearables for many reasons not least of which is because most people use one phone per person but everybody can have multiple wearables so it’s a huge market.  How big a market?  If we accept there will be 2 billion smartphones sold per year in in 2018 (ABI data) then simple math tells us that 2 or 3 times that is a very big number.

Pankaj and the folks at Qualcomm believe that over the next 3 to 5 years,  sensors are going to become small enough to disappear on (and in) your body and battery life issues will have faded away to the point that sensors become ubiquitous and are that sixth sense in your life.


For Qualcomm the Internet of Everything (IoE, not IoT) is a major growth priority and they logically categorize IoE devices into those on the body (wearables), in the home, and out in the city.  It’s a simplistic way to describe it, but smart body, smart home and smart city.

For wearables to be successful Pankaj says there are four challenges to address:

  1. Power, depending on use case
  2. Size and integration: CPU, GPU, modem, and other sub-systems in the smallest possible package
  3. Sensors: growing number of sensors and sophistication of algorithms
  4. Connectivity in all forms: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, 3G, 4G, NFC, GPS


Luckily Qualcomm has the technology and expertise to address these issues.  You may know that Qualcomm has been a driver of wireless charging standards with their WiPower initiative and as the price level falls it should be in widespread use. To reduce size and cost there is a never ending drive for integrating technology and Qualcomm has already done this with chips that have CPUs, GPU, sensor hub, GPS, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and LTE in a single package; there is more to come.     Additionally, Qualcomm recently announced the purchase of CSR to round out their connectivity portfolio, further supporting their drive for integration. Finally they believe that ease of use is key to adoption and are working with Google on the Android Wear OS to improve the user experience. All the trends and technologies are coming together to deliver the wearables we want by the billions over time.


Pankaj pointed out that Wearables are really a collection of devices, not one segment:

Qualcomm sees 5 segments of wearables:

  • Wearable cameras (like the GoPro)


  • Glass (see through/ optical; like Google glass or Samsung Gear VR)
  • Smart watches (like this Asus Zenwatch or the Samsung Gear S)

Asus Zenwatch.jpg 

  • Fitness trackers (like the Microsoft Band)


  • Wireless health & Body sensors (shirt/ shoes)
    • Nike shirt  (includes sensors in the price)


Qualcomm invests heavily in research with consumers and enterprises to help them predict the future and particularly what wearables might look like in 3 to 5 years.  Once the data comes in that a market is promising the Qualcomm chipsets and even end user products like the Toq watch come to market.  So following that progression we see Qualcomm innovating with wireless charging (WiPower) and their recently released augmented reality SDK called Vuforia.  If you want to understand the connected world we live in it might pay to follow @Pankajkedia and what’s emerging from @Qualcommlabs.

David Blaza

Wearables at WaRP speed

Posted by David Blaza Nov 21, 2014

Chinese Version中文版:可穿戴设备WaRP速度

As Wearables Week comes to a close I got to talk to Sujata Neidig and Robert Thompson from the Freescale MCU group about their plans for this market. Their take was in line with what we have heard others say and that wearables have been around for a while, activity trackers and watches aren't new, and mainly came from established electronics companies like Samsung and LG. However what is new in this wave of wearables are the crowd funded players like Pebble, Oculus and Avegant. These new companies aren’t coming from the world of traditional hardware design and Freescale thinks they need help understanding the engineering challenges and tradeoffs.  So in response to this need Freescale has announced and is about to ship their WaRP board (Wearable Reference Platform) which you can find details of at WaRPboard.org.

WaRP board.jpg

This platform was designed to help designers get to market when they need fast solutions in an evolving and changing market. They can experiment with many variables to figure out how they can differentiate and architect their device.  The WaRPboard.org site is community driven with 20 partners participating to assist in the design elements beyond the Freescale components (like the Maxim PMIC for example). The board is $149 with a main board powered by the iMX6sololite (ARM Cortex-A9) and a daughterboard with the Kinetis KL16 (Cortex-M0+) for sensor integration and wireless charging.  Earlier in the week we noted that very few wearables have adopted wireless charging yet so this might be a tipping point.


The iMX 6SoloLite board runs Android 4.3.1, drives a 1.5” touchscreen, and comes with some standard API’s, Java runtime capable and an open source license with no royalties.It’s a very capable board in a very small form factor even with the daughterboard in place.

Designing the WaRP board was a learning experience for Freescale and the partners it collaborated with so they now know the challenges that wearables designers face (the main board is 12 layers and very compact so that’s a tough design in itself). WaRPboard is an open source platform so you’ll get the design files, reference details and software you need as part of the kit enabling you to design your system fast.


One new example of a wearable is the Garmin Vivosmart (Freescale Kinetis with Cortex-M0+) which looks like a new generation of more capable fitness trackers with a long battery life (up to 7 days).

Garmin vivosmart.png


The WaRPboard is a highly integrated and well thought our platform for wearables designers, what do you think?

We announced last year that Oracle and ARM were working together to leverage mbed as a scalable way for developers to make use of Java ME across a wide range of Cortex-M based devices. Oracle has now announced the availability of a Java ME 8.1 developer version using mbed on the Freescale FRDM-K64F Cortex-M platform. Great to see the benefits from a common mbed software ecosystem for Cortex-M based devices. 


Java ME now available on Cortex-M and mbed


Zach Shelby

I recently discussed the role of security in the Internet of Things industry with the online publication M2M Now. We're making security better and easier to deploy across ARM Cortex-M parts by building security into the fundamentals of the mbed IoT Device Platform. mbed OS has been announced with a built-in uVisor and public-key cryptography called Cryptobox, full TLS and DTLS based communication security, and built-in management of keys, service configuration along with secure firmware update. We're also working with mbed Cloud Partners to provide server-side technology to make use of the security features of mbed OS, as security is always about the end-to-end solution and overall lifecycle management.


Internet of Things industry is right to put security centre stage, says ARM

Wearables are hot, we all know that and as you will read here on the ARM Connected Community this week there is so much happening it’s easy to get caught up in the hype so to get some balance I reached out to Silicon Valley entrepreneur Adam Traidman to get his take.

Adam Traidman wearables 1.0.jpg

Adam is an EE and serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who recently researched the Wearables market so I knew he would have some interesting points of view based on his data.

Adam thinks we are still in Wearables 1.0 and will be stuck in it until some of the major hurdles are overcome.  Specifically Adam cited these challenges in the use and adoption of wearables:


  1. Compliance, most wearables get 6 to 8 weeks of use and then are put away in a draw
  2. Hassle factor, charging is a major issue,  Bluetooth headsets have this issue as well
  3. Overtness, they can be seen, not fashionable, do people really want to wear it?
  4. Data problem, for it to be useful it has to be always on and used every day


These 4 issues are all interrelated and taken as a whole they become a significant barrier to adoption. If you want to dig into some academic data on Adam’s points here is a Slideshare from Clemson University wearables researcher Vivian Motti.   Adam has looked some of the early market entrants, for example: Lark was the first sleep monitoring wearable and the first sold in the Apple store, and then came Fitbit, the Jawbone UP, the Nike Fuel band and finally the Misfit Shine.  Adam bought and wore them all at the same time and noted that the data from these devices (on the same person) can be up to 50% off from each other. But perhaps this doesn't really matter since the devices are not all about technology but more about psychology, a tacit reminder to move and exercise and that’s what really matters.


Adam also noted that the social aspect is a huge incentive to act so inaccuracy isn't important as we might think,  it’s all about the delta factor,  the device and app prompted you and then you exercised more today than yesterday so it’s a win-win.


Looking at how the early entrants have fared we can see some stress in the current business model. Lark dropped out of hardware and now just sells sleep management software. Nike has slowed or stopped development of the Fuel band product line while Jawbone has continued to innovate and Misfit are pushing all the style buttons (see pic of the Misfit Shine below).

Misfit Shine.jpg

Interestingly some of these players are addressing the battery issue with one time use coin cell batteries that can last for 6 months (Shine) to a year (Garmin Vivofit, see our teardown) and are removing that hassle factor Adam talked about.


Perhaps the most interesting part of my conversation with Adam was around the business model for these devices,  is selling the hardware for a one time price of $50 to $250 going to work?  Some alternatives to a one time purchase are subscription models similar to the “new phone every 2 years” deal that you can get from your wireless carrier (the AT&T version is called Next).  So rather than buy a wearable and keep it for a few years you subscribe to a service that includes the device and the vendor sends you a new one periodically, maybe before the battery runs out! This way you always have the latest technology and the old device gets recycled so that’s a plus.


This approach may be a better business model for the vendor but what about the compliance issue? Humans need incentives to change their behavior so Adam thinks that vendors who tie their plans to corporate and medical programs with a discount for compliance may be successful.  The health insurer saves money, the employer saves money and at the end of the day the employee is healthier.  This may sound radical but incentive programs by employers and governments to help people stop smoking based on some kind of incentive are not new but tying them to a device is different.


So what’s your take? How much of an incentive do you need to wear a fitness tracker every day?


*obscure pop culture reference to the beating of Dan Rather on Park Avenue in New York, check it out here.

After an intense couple of weeks looking at Wearables you get to see patterns and trends emerging in this market and STMicroelectronics is popping up in a lot of devices so I decided to ask why.  I spoke with Yan Loke who is a Principal Marketing Engineer in Silicon Valley for ST.


ARM Wearables Week is right after the bi-annual Electronica show in Munich and ST, like most electronics companies, were pushing out new products.  At the show ST released the world’s smallest MEMS pressure sensor - the LPS22HB - and now offers an open-source library license for their huge range of MEMS sensors. Yan told me that ST is continually innovating across their vast portfolio of devices and just announced a new ultra-low power MEMS 3D accelerometer and gyro (LSM6DS3) that consumes less than 1mA of current -- when most highly accurate gyro’s draw 4 to 5mA.


This points to what may be a key to ST’s success and that’s the breadth and depth of their semiconductor portfolio.  A quick search across Octopart.com shows that major distributors have thousands of ST parts in stock; DigiKey alone haves over 13,000 ST parts available for immediate shipment. Yan told me that this breadth of portfolio in sensors, power, connectivity and microcontrollers means that ST is in the consideration set for many kinds of designs.


Another tactic that ST uses is offering very inexpensive Dev kits like their Nucleo board (see picture below) which sells for just $15 but is often given away at hands-on training sessions around the world.

Nucleo board.jpg

ST has a range of Nucleo boards, each based on an ARM Cortex-M core, and can be easily programmed with the mbed IDE (video here).  A few weeks ago I posted a blog on EETimes.com showing Dr. Paul Beckmann of DSP Concepts using a Nucleo board in a very cool audio application where he pointed out how easy they are to use.


ST has found a sweet spot by combining their breadth of ARM microcontrollers with their MEMS manufacturing skills and this has had an early impact on the wearables market in many design wins and is perhaps best illustrated in the Pebble watch, which could be described as a “system on a wrist”—and which ST describes as Smart Me.


As we move through ARM Wearables Week it’s really interesting to see how different ARM partners use their heritage and technology expertise to address the wearables market in so many different ways.


What do you think is the perfect combination of tools and hardware to start a wearables design project?

Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: