1 2 3 Previous Next

Internet of Things

425 posts

Did you know that four burglaries occur every minute in the United States alone? That’s a startling one every 15 seconds. The good news is that most convicted burglars (90%) claim they want to avoid homes with alarm systems, saying that if they did encounter an alarm, they would abandon the attack. However, the bad news is that nearly two-thirds of homeowners fail to turn it on at all times.


While there has been an influx of smart bulbs in recent years, none of them may be nearly as intelligent as a new lighting system from one Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup. The BeON Burglar Deterrent was designed to give off the impression of a lived-in home while you’re away, thereby outsmarting would-be intruders.

For those who recall the 1990s blockbuster film Home Alone, Kevin McCallister — played by Macaulay Culkin — outwits a pair of criminals by creating a DIY home security system. During one scene, Kevin goes to great lengths to set up a fake Christmas party in order to deceive the “Wet Bandits” into thinking that the house is, in fact, occupied.


Well, BeON Home is seeking to bottle some of that Kevin McCallister spirit inside their new system. The BeON Deterrent — which is fresh off a successful Kickstarter campaign — is hidden within several LED bulbs, each of which provide plenty of light throughout a home. As its creators note, you shouldn’t have to compromise on your lighting quality for security and safety. That’s why each bulb in the BeON Burglar Deterrent system emits 800 lumens of soft white LED light, which is equivalent to your typical 60W incandescent bulbs.

While the smart bulbs install just like ordinary lightbulbs, and work with your existing wall switches, an additional ’smart’ module enables a whole new level of intelligence. In particular, the system is equipped to learn your home lighting activity patterns, which are then replayed while away from home to convey to potential thieves that someone is still home.

“No system programming is required. Simply activate and be on your way. Most would-be burglars will continue on their way, but the more bold ones may check if a home is occupied by ringing the doorbell,” a company rep adds.

Embedded with an Atmel | SMART SAM G ARM Cortex-M4 MCU, BeON’s sound processing engine can detect the tone of a doorbell and will immediately trigger the lights on in sequence to simulate your active presence, thereby increasing its level of ‘smartness.’ (Think of it as a professional grade Home Alone contraption.) Aside from the ATSAMG53 based sound algorithm, BeON bulbs boast backup rechargeable batteries, ensuring its burglar prevention powers work even without power.


Furthermore, just as the bulbs can listen to your doorbell, the BeON system can hear other in-home events like smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. As a result, if BeON lights detect an alarm, they will immediately turn on at full brightness to assist home dwellers escape safely.

Following its successful crowdfunding campaign, the team hopes to add other sound functionality to the bulbs. Imagine if when a burglar rings the doorbell, just before the first light comes on a dog barks? Then, the next light turns on and is followed by the sound of a shotgun cocking. As with any Atmel | SMART MCU-driven innovation, the possibilities are endless!


Not only is the system easy to use, but it’s simple to set up as well! So much so that the smart burglar deterrent can literally be configured and operated with a single finger. Each module is outfitted with a BLE module, which allows the system’s mesh network to extend the range of the bulb network throughout a house.


Looking to channel your inner Kevin McCallister and defend your home while away? Learn more about this bright idea by visiting their official page here. Full production is expected to get underway next spring, while shipping should begin in June 2015.

This blog was originally shared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.


Nearly 50 years after the creation of The Jetsons, owning a 'Rosie-type' personal robot is almost here. Thank you to today's technology and intelligent innovators, the 'far-fetched future utopia' dreams are finally becoming a reality.


New York City-based Robotbase has created the Personal Robot which will truly act as your assistant (and in most cases, thinking before you actually do) to take notes during your meeting, ordering food for lunch, acting as your photographer and connecting with your other smart home devices to make your life simpler and easier.


For $995 USD ($1,000 less than suggested retail) you can be one of the very first to own the Personal Robot - they're set to ship later this year. You might think that's a good chunk of change, but look at the price if you had to pay a human Personal Assistant? Time is running out, their Kickstarter campaign expires next week, and has raised nearly $140,000 USD.

Duy & Robot.jpg

I had the opportunity to interview the creator of the Personal Robot, Duy Huynh, Founder and CEO of Robotbase (pictured above). Robotbase, a NYC robotics startup keen on building practical, affordable, and intelligent robots. A native of Vietnam, Duy came to the United States when he was 18. Duy received his four-year college degree from the University of Wisconsin in his first 16 months and at the age of 19, he was already a PhD Student at the University of Maryland. Duy went on to work for IBM as a Software Architect for a few years. In 2007, he founded VIFAH Manufacturing Group, a multi-million dollar manufacturing business that helped major retailers like Target, Costco, Lowes, and Home Depot design, develop, and manufacture consumer products. In 2014, he started Robotbase to follow his passion for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.


Under the hood:


  • ARM-based Board powered by a Quad-core Qualcomm® Krait™ CPU
  • Autonomous Mobile Base
  • 3D Depth Camera
  • Touch Screen
  • Servos
  • Microphone
  • Speaker
  • Humidity Sensor, Temperature Sensor, CO2 Meter
  • Accelerometer Sensor, Gyroscope Sensor, Light Sensor, Pressure Sensor, Orientation Sensor, Rotation Vector, Linear Acceleration, Gravity, Game Rotation Vector, Geometric Rotation Vector, Significant Motion.

Internet of Things and Smart Home Automation System

  • Wireless Z-Wave Plus
  • ZigBee
  • BLE
  • Wi-Fi

Software Development Kit (SDK)

  • Artificial Intelligence SDK including Facial Recognition, Object Recognition, Emotion Recognition, Object Detection, Speech Recognition, Natural Language Processing, and Autonomous Navigation.
  • Android v5.0
  • Start building new apps for your robot right away
  • Start selling your apps on our App Store later this year



How did you go about in deciding the technology?

For each component, either software or hardware, we reviewed all the best solution providers on the market and made our decision on ‘buy vs. build’. If we think the vendors are doing a fantastic job and we can’t do it better than them, then we’ll buy from the vendor. If we believe that it’s the core of our technology and we’re confident that we can build a much better solution, then we’ll build it.



Most challenging hurdle you had to overcome in creating the Personal Robot?

The biggest challenge is on the software stack, especially the AI. People’s expectation for AI is very high with all the hype and all the movies. We’re very far away from the day that you’ll see AI like you see in fiction movies. We’re focused on very practical AI algorithms that solve practical problems.



What differentiates the Personal Robot from other robots?

It’s the AI behind the product. We have a live demo of our AI on our website (Personal Robot Software Demo).



What’s your experience with running multiple AI engines on mobile grade hardware? Compare that with what’s running in server farms these days.

It’s challenging. We spent a lot of time to optimize our algorithm to run faster on a mobile device. Sometimes, we have to trade absolute accuracy with time. So it doesn’t have to be 99% correct, maybe 95% correct, but if it runs 10x faster, then sure, we’ll go with it.



Since the Robot base can talk to multiple “things” in the home, what are their current challenges that could be improved upon by the ecosystem?

We have ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi now. So across these protocols, we can talk to a lot of the devices on the market already - and we’re looking forward to work with a couple new protocols this year.


I think the biggest challenge of the IoT space is not on the technology itself, but it’s more on the consumer adoption with practical use cases as well as cost reduction. Once we can show clear benefits and cut the costs down, we will have mass adoption of IoT.



What's the typical use cases for the Personal Robot?

She's your ultimate (physical) personal assistant, something that is entirely different from anything you've seen before her. So...


at your next family gatherings, you don't have to go around and take photos; you'll have "someone" go around autonomously, identify smiling faces, and capture key moments for you; so you can truly enjoy the moments rather than trying to capture it.


at lunch time, you'll have "someone" come over and ask you if you want to order a "Caesar Salad" because she remembers you had so much food in the last few days, and she wants you to stay healthy.


before dinner, she'll walk you through cooking recipes step-by-step, while your hands are busy cooking.


at night time, she'll read a story to your kids, at the same time reflecting the light color mood of the room.


while you're traveling, she patrols around the house, using all of her sensors to watch the house for you, every corner of it.


while you're in a hotel room, you can telepresence into her to stay in touch with your family or into a meeting at work with your workers, as if you're there.


during a meeting, she captures notes and reminds you when your next meeting is, who you're meeting with, and what that person just shared on Twitter or Facebook.


and, we have an open SDK, so developers can build more apps for you. Your robot will be more capable and helpful over time.



What’s it going to take for the Personal Robot to become mainstream?

More apps and cut down the hardware cost.



What’s next for the Personal Robot? Any other integrations or advancements?

We’re not building a product. We’re building a platform so that developers can develop new apps for our robots. So our next step is to provide a really powerful API for developers to build the next generation of apps, much more intelligent and autonomous. And also help developers to monetize them with our app store.

Readers, tell me your thoughts on whether or not you would like to own a Personal Robot as your assistant?

Did you know that four burglaries occur every minute in the United States alone? That’s a startling one every 15 seconds. The good news is that most convicted burglars (90%) claim they want to avoid homes with alarm systems, saying that if they did encounter an alarm, they would abandon the attack. However, the bad news is that nearly two-thirds of homeowners fail to turn it on at all times. And, when it comes to security, many are often faced with expensive systems and pricey monitoring fees. Understandably so.


However, one Provo, Utah-based startup is looking to change that with their new Atmel | SMART powered DIY system. Novi is making it increasingly easier for homeowners to install small detectors throughout their house that can notify them of any motion or smoke — without the need of contracts and monthly costs!

Like a number of smart home security systems seen throughout the CES 2015 show floor, Novi can be controlled through its accompanying mobile app. The kit is comprised of a base station and sensors, powered by Atmel SAM4S and SAMA5 processors, respectively.


The sensors are smaller than the average smoke detector, and can easily be affixed to the ceiling. In addition to that, the system also offers homeowners peace of mind by sending a series of photos right to their smartphone. For instance, in the event that motion is detected, the sensor immediately snaps a series of pictures and forwards them to the base station. Once the base station, which plugs directly into a router, receives the images from the sensors, it relays them instantly to the mobile device. The recipient can then remotely request the sensors to take more pictures of a particular room, and after glancing at the images, decide whether or not to call officials.

Months after completing a successful Kickstarter campaign, where the company garnered over $175,000, the DIY system is currently available for pre-order. Novi can be purchased in a starter kit — which includes one sensor, the base station and the app — for $199, with additional sensors for $89 per unit.

CES 2015: Novi is Redefining Smart Home Security - YouTube

This post was originally shared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.



Irrespective of the research firm numbers or the predictions from any of the large companies with a vested interest in the growth in devices, we are all pretty much agreed that there will be billions of things connected to the Internet over the next 5 years or so. Some of them will be wired – there will be industrial automation sensors and actuators that have always been wired and they will continue to be so, if the wiring infrastructure is deployed as a matter of course during the commissioning of the factory or processing plant. However, everyone is looking to reduce costs and complexity and wiring buildings is costly and you need to have predicted every scenario otherwise the wires will be in the wrong place or not there at all. This is where wireless comes into its own.


Adding a radio to any device enables its connectivity whilst retaining its mobility – the ability to place it exactly where needed and move it in the future if required. The challenge is that, as any embedded system designer will tell you, radios suck power. Consequently, there is a concerted effort going on in the industry to reduce the power drain from the radio so that the device can be placed in situ, worn or transported and not have to be recharged or have the battery replaced for the life of its use. So let’s have a look at the application spaces for  wireless objects in relation to us as humans and our environment.


In the Personal Area Network (PAN) space, there have been a few contenders with marginal traction – ANT being a case in point – but it  has been the inclusion of Bluetooth 4.0/Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in all new smartphones that is driving the use of BLE for everything that may be connected in and around your person. You only have to look at the burgeoning wearables space to see that BLE has become and will be the dominant connectivity option  for short range use. The massive volumes will bring costs down and the increase in the number of developers familiar with using BLE will see its use expand into M2M connectivity when the distance between objects is small.


If we look at the Local Area Network (LAN) space, we see a well established shift into Wireless LAN (WLAN) due to the massive adoption of WiFi or more precisely, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, in laptops, phones and tablets – to the extent that, as a product designer for the consumer, you would expect there to be a WLAN gateway/router in every home. There is an expectation of ubiquity for WiFi and it will continue to connect devices with high bandwidth needs such as cameras, televisions and consumer electronics. The drawback is that the 802.11 protocols are very “chatty” and so power consumption is an issue and you would avoid using WiFi for unattended devices that need to be in Field for years at a time. For low power WLAN connectivity, there is a trend towards the use of 802.15.4 radios such as Zigbee or Zwave but the take-up is not on a par with WiFi. The push towards the use of 6LoWPAN for in-building device connectivity has the potential for defragmenting the low power WLAN space and creating critical mass for huge growth.


The real challenge for the IoT is when you leave the relative confines of a building or campus and you want to connect things over large distances (greater than a kilometre). You are now in the world of cellular (2G/3G/4G), satellite or proprietary sub-gigahertz networks.

The main challenges here are cost and power consumption. The Mobile Network Operators are getting pretty creative with their service offerings for Machine-2-Machine (M2M) to reduce the operational cost of connecting tens of thousands of devices but a lot of the applications require the device to be in operation for 10 years or more and that is very difficult (nigh on impossible) to achieve using cellular networks.


So the IoT world is in need of  a radio with the cost model and power consumption of BLE but with the range of cellular. I recognised this a few years ago and is why ARM is a founder member and promoter of the Weightless SIG, setup to define an open standard for a new type of cellular network designed specifically for M2M. Since then, there have emerged a few other companies with technology that promises a similar capability – sub–$2 transceivers that can connect over 10km and last 10 years on a single cell whilst also costing single digit dollars per year to operate.


Wireless connectivity is and will play a crucial role in the explosion of the Internet of Things for all the reasons we have looked at above. Some are already well established, like WiFi, and are an automatic choice for many applications whereas others are still in early stage and will require some critical mass before taking off in any significant way. It is certainly a very interesting time for the wireless industry and the world around will be increasingly reliant on radios to simplify our lives, increase productivity and make more efficient use of our scarce natural resources.


Gary Atkinson, Director of Emerging Technologies, ARM, is based in Cambridge, UK, but spends his time traveling the world looking for new technology that already has or may have a use for ARM-based processors in disruptive, globally scalable and impactful applications. Gary is also the Chairman of the Weightless SIG – a consortium of industry players setup to define a long range radio standard for M2M that delivers sub-$2 radio modules that can connect over a 10km range but last 10 years on a single battery. Application areas of interest are Agriculture, Water Treatment and Distribution, Environmental monitoring and Energy Efficiency. He is particularly interested in how the mass deployment of low cost and low power sensors can provide the real–time data needed to improve production or energy efficiency, or automate how one machine talks to another.


We might think about data in the same way now as we originally thought about energy. Both require technology to extract and both drive vast industries. The challenges of dealing with energy and data-use growth are similar. It is about efficiency; ensuring energy use is as lean as possible in everything from cars and data centers, to mobile phones. Data consumption and use needs to be efficient too and that’s where we need to explore the relationship with software. Data consumption has driven the software industry right from the beginning. For example, in the 1950’s the ENIAC computer crunched data to produce the first reliable weather prediction. Today the same number crunching software run on a standard mobile phone. To manipulate data you need software and to execute software you need hardware. Recently it was announced that the ARM partnership had successfully shipped over 50 billion ARM-powered chips. For me this is a staggering number and it also represents revenue and potential revenue for the software ecosystem that targets ARM-powered devices.


Each ARM-powered chip has to run some form of software from a simple monitor to an exciting new application. As we view the future, software is both important and complex. It is important since companies have to make software bets on future investments and it is complex because it covers so many different business models, markets and products. I believe the next 100 billion ARM-based chips will be driven by sensor networks. As in sensor networks will create data which will focus future software investments.


To help discuss how I got to this conclusion of sensors and data - I’ll use two examples. The first example is based on a quote which inspired me to think sensors and the second is based on a prediction (my crystal ball method) which drove me towards data and software as an important catalyst.


Let’s first explore the quote.




Growing up in Cambridge (UK) I always heard about Maurice Wilkes, unfortunately I never got the chance to meet him. He is remembered as the inventor of the first computer executing a stored program. Maurice Wilkes is a Turing Award Winner (the computing equivalent of the Nobel Prize). He was quoted as saying:


“Students sometimes ask my advice on how to get rich. The best advice I can give them is to dig up some old algorithm that once took forever, program it for a modern workstation, form a startup to market it and then get rich.”


From "A Half Century of Surprises", in Talking Back to the Machine: Computers and Human Aspiration, Ed. Peter J. Denning, Springer, 1999


Like all quotes you can argue various points - for me this quote effectively was true throughout the 90’s but like all industries the trends change. The 2000’s marked the rise of the ARM ecosystem and mobile computing. Now if we look back at the first 50 billion chips the concept of workstation was pretty much replaced by mobile device. All the latest innovative software targeted mobile devices e.g. the mobile apps stores exploded with popularity leaving the traditional PC software market to slow down. The mobile market has created and will continue to create new innovative software companies. This gives rise to my first revision of the quote, which replaces workstation with mobile device.


Revision 1: “dig up some old algorithm that once took forever, program it for a modern mobile device, form a startup to market it and then get rich.”


The growth in mobile is about providing access to platforms, if you look to the future “where are the next 100 billion chips coming from?” I think the answer is relatively simple, sensors - where the focus is on providing a standard solution across the network. Sensors are the end points of the network where all the information is created and begins. They are increasingly taking on more functionality. Throw in the business concept of the Internet-of-Things (sensor to server or possibly HPC) the world becomes a huge opportunity for the software ecosystem to create new exciting solutions that drive data from device computing to the cloud.


As an IoT example, let’s take a blood pressure sensor that is connected to the internet. Software technology has to be created to allow data to flow from the sensor through the network to eventually end up in a database on a server. This all has to be achieved securely and reliably. This brings me to my second and final revision of the quote (the next 100 billion chips) which takes us further down the path from workstation to mobile device to eventually sensor network.


Revision 2: “dig up some old algorithm that once took forever, program it for a modern sensor network, form a startup to market it and then get rich.”


I’ve talked about sensor networks driving the next 100 billion ARM-powered chips but let’s discuss the real underlying catalyst “data” and the software used to manipulate that data.




“The acceleration to consume more data, more intelligently with more computational-efficiency will continue to prevail throughout the industry for the foreseeable future”


Crystal ball time, when predicting the future it is better to start with one technology growth-constant that forces the other technologies to align and contribute to that constant. Making use of the QUOTE above, I can create an entirely new general prediction that data will drive the next 100 billion chips for the software ecosystem.


My growth-constant here is that data usage will continue to rapidly expand and that will align other technologies (computational-efficiency and intelligence). It doesn’t matter which market is viewed they will all follow the same common pattern. Data growth demand will outstrip hardware technology unless we can improve the software computational-efficiency. This means that there is an opportunity for software to be used to beat the projected Moore’s Law line by side-stepping the escalating costs.


I’m thinking the word cost in this context is all around total cost of ownership (TCO). Example, there is a drive to bring DNA sequencing down to $1, once we get nearer to that goal, more data will be created because more people will want their DNA sequenced – it’s a circle. This is an opportunity for the software ecosystem to take advantage of the situation by accelerating computational-efficiency beyond hardware improvements towards the end goal.


Finally intelligence, we can predict systems will get more intelligent - whether it is a new Natural User Interface (NUI) or the increase in capability at the datacenter. Data growth is driven by making access easier. The reason we see data growth continuing is because data is easier to obtain, modify and use.




The next 100 billion chips will build on the previous 50 billion, so mobile computing remains important but even today we can see the rise of sensor networks opening up huge new areas of opportunities for the software ecosystem with data being underlying catalyst.


The acceleration to consume more data, more intelligently with more computational-efficiency will continue to prevail throughout the industry for the foreseeable future. Taking data growth as a constant we can see the potential of new software revenue across the industry, especially around the alignment of computational-efficiencies and intelligence. This will effectively make data a new renewable energy for the software industry and increase our appetite to consume.


It’s a cycle, future software revenues will continue to grow since more sensors, create more data which requires more chips.


Are sensor networks going to be the driver? Is data the new renewable energy? What is the future? What will drive the next 100 billion ARM-powered chips for the software ecosystem? The future is exciting but speculating on the future is always difficult, so what do you think?


Andrew Sloss, 
Andrew is a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society and Senior Principal Engineer in the Strategic Software Alliances group ARM Corporate Marketing. He focuses on future software challenges and trends which covers software from firmware to HPC. Andrew is the ARM Bindings Sub Team leader for UEFI an international standard. He is also a Part-Time Lecturer at the University of Washington teaching Embedded and Real-Time Systems.

Home TV.jpg

It's all about the screen


The 1950s introduced the first of the screens that would come into our homes and bring visual content to the consumer. It is estimated that over a billion TVs have been sold since that date. TV opened up the outside world to people in the homes from locations that they may never have heard of; advertised products they didn’t know they needed and informed them if issues they did not know existed. Screens have continued to be the main source of absorbing and educating people on areas of interest or subjects they know nothing about. TVs have now become smart and digital and have opened up the word of interaction, viewer choice and watching content when you want to watch it. The family sitting down to watch the TV together has not been replaced as much as you expect – research has shown that families will still watch key TV content together but now they are not alone they come armed with smartphones, tablets to get even more information on the characters, actors, locations, future plans. Answering all the questions that used to be asked – what else have they been in? Where is Dallas? When were shoulder pads fashionable?


So, what is next?  Well, the big invention in the 1980/1990s was the remote control - area for improvement - we have gone from fighting over the remote to trying to find the right one. So the next step is the most liberating – getting rid of the remote control completely. A few years ago it would have felt radical but with games consoles leading the way with more intuitive interactions taking this technology to the TV has started to happen. What I am excited about is what is next in the way that the TV. Not only does it know that you are there, where you are sitting but also what your favourite programs are and that you only watched half of the last episode of Elementary before you fell asleep. TVs also knows that your 10 year old children are too young to watch the latest Hunger Games and will not show the content whilst they are in the room. The TV has now become part of the family.


So now let’s move to our mobile screens  -  the latest extension to our person. Mobile phones have gone from a practical device to keep in contact when out of the office or home to a vital communications tool. I was asked once if I was to lose my wallet or phone what would I be most upset at losing. Without hesitation I would say ‘my phone!’ It captures my life from when I need to wake up, where I am supposed to be, what I need to remember, pictures of the latest thing my kids did at the weekend, to the latest chat from friends far away. How did that happen? Smartphones now are shipping over 1B annually and it is not isolated to the premium end. You can now buy a smartphone for as little as $25.


Personalisation is king


It seemed like a stretch when we talked about having $100 phones when we talked about it back in 2011. Now people are running round with phones to match what they are doing – heading out for a night out grab the phone that you don’t mind losing, going on business need you phone so you can access your email, maybe all-you-can-eat data plan if in the US, day out at the beach waterproof phone with a better camera because you know you will be taking lots of pictures so of the kids building sandcastles. Personalisation has got very personal now. Your mix will be different from mine. And then there is the life changing aspects that phones and tablets that are of a lower unit cost can create in locations where other telephone communications are not possible; how they open up education to children who would not have been able to get computers. It is estimated now that over 91% of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone mobile!


This is a great infographics with loads of interesting facts.  Phones in a similar way to TVs have transformed the way that we access and enjoy content. It is taking the content with you rather than having to rush home to see the content when someone else has decided it will be shown. Allowing you to interact with the content you are interested in what and where you want.


What is next?


Mobile screens grew about 4 years ago with the first introduction of tablets. This new form factor of the larger touch screen has spun off a wide and diverse set of tablets ranging from productivity focused products designed for the business user, most recently enhanced further but Microsoft office support for the iPad – through to sub $100 tablets designed for school children. This expansion of the mobile experience has been able to make use of the rich ecosystem and applications support that has been driven by the smartphone market and enabling reuse in a bigger screen experience for the consumer. I must admit I pick up my tablet first when I am doing web surfing at home and it contains a different mix of application to my smartphone - showing a further level of personalisation.


Screens have been growing in size over the last 60 years – what is interesting me now more is the smaller screens that are showing some of the greatest level of innovation in the industry. I am talking about the wearables market. These devices are opening up the real estate offered by the wrist, and glasses initially but we expect to see screens potentially appearing not only in person but in supporting belongings such as bags.


Screens will continue to be our main window to our digital world where ever we are – I look forward to seeing the continued innovation in resolutions, content and form factors that will take our visual experience to the next levels.

Its the week after CES and the IoT hype cycle went into overdrive in Las Vegas and drowned out a lot of rational thinking about the IoT.  Pundits were drawn to the dark side of the IoT in droves as they imagined privacy breaches and sabotage on a grand scale but we know every tech cycle attracts doomsday scenarios which never transpire.  Back when the telephone network moved to DTMF tones there was the infamous "Captain Crunch" whistle hack but that didn't stop AT&T building out the network.  There are obviously genuine concerns about privacy and security to be worked out with the advent of the IoT but I have every confidence that we will address these and the IoT will thrive.


Just to get some perspective on the IoT hype lets look at Google Trends for the search term "internet of things":

Google trend chart for IoT.png


From no google searches on IoT in 2005 and through 2006 we hit an index high of 100 at CES in January 2015. We are clearly still on the upward stretch of the hype cycle and I think its got a long way to go.


So with all this noise surrounding the IoT I was thrilled to read this well thought out and reasoned article from legendary consulting company, McKinsey.  They also mention the privacy and security issues but they also think these will be solved.  McKinsey have backed off the 100 billion connected devices projections to more reasonable numbers:



This McKinsey Insights article is aimed at Semiconductor companies who are trying to ride the IoT wave and what strategy they should adopt to grow and capture the value they create.  A couple of startling insights hit me immediately, first was this "Joep van Beurden, the chief executive at CSR notes, only about 10 percent of the financial value to be captured from the Internet of Things trend is likely to be in the “things”; the rest is likely to be in how these things are connected to the Internet"  Therefore just building devices isn't going to going to capture all the value (and profits) for semiconductor companies, there is much more to do around networks, data and applications.  This is going to be a radical shift for most companies and they need to rethink their entire value chain.  This is disruption about to happen,  The second major insight for me and one very relevant to this community is the need for many levels of devices from ultra low power at the edge (Cortex-M) to multi core high performance processors (Cortex-A) at hubs and gateways. The IoT is many markets and applications so a one size fits all strategy isn't going to work and there is no better example of the right processor for the right application than the ARM ecosystem.


This is an article worth reading a couple of times to absorb the challenges and huge opportunities the IoT might have in store for us but McKinsey are saying that tackling the IoT with the right strategy will define your future and I couldn't agree more.  Where do you think the real value is?

Our friends at ifixit always do a great job in terms of giving you an inside look at some of the higher profile mobile and wearable devices. However, in recent weeks some new devices have emerged which have not hit the ifixit radar just yet. We wanted to give you a glimpse into the ARM technology powering both the communication and user interfaces on some of these devices.


It’s clear that today, most of the wearable tech adoption is happening in the health and fitness category. For those seeking in-depth analysis on their training, Polar has recently brought some nice high-end devices to market. In this first teardown, we take a look at what powers the Polar V800 GPS sports watch.


For connectivity, the Polar V800 of course utilizes a Bluetooth processor. In this case you see the Texas Instruments CC2564 which relies on 32-bit ARM technology. At the heart of the Polar V800 is the STM32F437 from STMicroelectronics, also based on a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 core. With integrated sleep modes and optional state retention capabilities, the Cortex-M4 processor is specifically designed to deliver high efficiency of signal processing associated with sensing, combined with low levels of power consumption.


CES Polar 2.png



You will find many of today’s popular wearables are based on the Cortex-M4 including the Sony Smartband Talk, the TomTom Runner and the Microsoft Band.


This next teardown also relies on Cortex-M4 technology. The Silicon Labs' EFM32 Wonder Gecko 32-bit MCU is the processor that drives another fitness-focused smartwatch, the Basis Peak Watch from Intel. Noted industry analyst Patrick Moorhead, founder and president of Moor Insights Strategy, recently called the Basis Peak the first wearable he has used that “accurately and automatically measures, captures and displays” his heart rate without the need for a chest strap.


As you take a look at the teardown picture, you will also notice that the Basis Peak includes an ARM-based Bluetooth processor from Nordic Semiconductor. Nordic’s nRF51822 Bluetooth SoC utilizes the ultra-low power ARM Cortex-M0 processor, the smallest of the Cortex-M range of processors that achieves 32-bit processing at 8-bit price points.






Finally, we take a look at one of the more fashionable devices that was recently launched, the MICA, also from Intel. MICA, which stands for My Intelligent Communications Accessory, goes a step further than some of the previously discussed devices and takes advantage of higher performance ARM Cortex-A cores capable of running rich operating systems at very low levels of power consumption, but  combining cellular communication as the connectivity.





This teardown picture shows the SoC that powers the MICA is the XG632 SoC from Intel and will also become available from Rockchip in the future. The XG632 SoC, manufactured by TSMC, is powered by two ARM Cortex-A5 cores and operates 3G, WiFi and BT connectivity. With ARM cores being utilized in over 95% of all modem shipments demonstrating the benefits of combining CPUs optimized for real time processing with those optimized for running rich operating systems





As we are on the eve of the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show and you peruse some of the newest wearable technology on display at the show, it’s important to remember that only ARM and its partners can meet the diversity requirements and fuel innovation in this space.


The wearables market is real today – and it runs on ARM.

In the exciting and fast paced area of wearable tech ARM and its partners are excited to be leading the way in enabling ultra small, stylish and robust devices that integrate into our everyday lives.  Fitness and wellbeing are important areas and Samsung has been quick to recognize this with the development of the ARM based Gearfit.  The advanced curved AMOLED touch screen display not only looks stylish but also fits perfectly on your wrist meaning it won’t get in your way when you are burning those calories!!


The ultra-low power ARM based MCU gives excellent battery life and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity allows you to syncronise your work outs with a number of 3rd party Apps as well as ‘S Health App’ from Samsung.  With sophisticated heart rate and movement sensing the Gearfit keeps track of your activities throughout the day and is also dust and water resistant.

Not only a fitness monitor, Gearfit also brings many of the features you would expect from a smartwatch such as text and notification display, call accept and reject and yes - it even displays the time!!

With its interchangeable straps and colourful display coupled with ARM Cortex-M at its heart,  Gearfit really is your 24/7 wearable companion.

Enter the Competition

We are excited to be offering you an opportunity to win the very latest ARM based Samsung Gearfit. Answer a simple question for your chance to win your very own device.

Click here to find out more

Find out more about Samsung Gearfit here

Our friends at iFixit have also done a teardown of the Gearfit here

Following on from its launch a few months back, Sparkfun have got hold of a Microsoft Band and have taken a look inside.


Microsoft Band is a stylish wrist based wearable device that integrates multiple sensors such as heart rate, activity tracking, sleep tracking, GPS, UV monitor and more.


At the heart of the Microsoft Band you will find an ARM Cortex-M4 based Freescale Kinetis K24 microcontroller.  The Freescale Kinetis K24 brings the best of ultra low power Cortex-M performance coupled with the signal processing extensions of Cortex-M4 being the perfect solution for the advanced sensor management in wearable devices such as this.


You can take a look at the teardown here: https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1681


You can read more about how ARM and Freescale are enabling the wearables revolution in this whitepaper: http://cache.freescale.com/files/corporate/doc/white_paper/WEARABLESARMWP.pdf


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


Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: