Broadcom is hoping to stimulate growth for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
The semiconductor provider's new Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Device (WICED) Sense Kit aims to make it easier for software and hardware developers to prototype and experiment with IoT devices and applications.
But first, a review of terms. The explanation for Internet of Things can get convoluted; however, you can arrive at a definition by imagining that everything around you is a computer. Basically, it pertains to Internet-connected hardware that does not include the usual online vessels such as smartphones, computers and tablets. It's a growing movement to turn normal, everyday objects such as door locks, tea kettles and pill containers into Wi-Fi-connected devices.
The WICED Sense, which Broadcom has endowed with the purpose of "giving IoT-minded technologists a leg up," comes with the Bluetooth Smart chip, five micro electro-mechanical systems (which are motion sensors) and the company's Bluetooth 4.1-compatible WICED Smart software stack.
Setting up the kit takes less than five minutes, thereby giving software and hardware developers the capability to create prototypes at a faster rate. The set-up process, which is made a lot easier by the fact that the software is already pre-programmed, basically involves just three really simple steps. First, you must install a coin-cell battery into the device. Once that's done, you can download the WICED Sense iOS app. Finally, to get it up and running, you would just need to pair the Bluetooth Low Energy connection between your device and the sensor tags. The sensor tags can gather data such as speed, temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity and direction.
"From two-person garage startups to tier one manufacturers, we care tremendously about fostering innovation in this market," Sid Shaw, Broadcom's senior product line manager for Internet of Things business in the Broadband and Connectivity Group, said in a blog post. "The idea is to democratize this market and open it up to millions of software and hardware developers so they can experiment with low-energy Bluetooth and innovate on the WICEDTM platform."
The kit is now available for just $20. For now, the WICED Sense app can only be found on the App Store. However, the company promised that an Android app would be out by October.