The third pitfall comes when a prototype must go into production: the supply chain.
Raspberry Pi and Arduino work great for prototyping, but neither can help developers source CPUs or any other chips they need, in volume, from a silicon supplier or distributor. Meanwhile, even if developers are interested in Qualcomm's Toq, chances are that Qualcomm isn't interested in doing business with newcomers who tend to be small fish. Its target is tier-one OEMs.
Freescale's wearable reference platform, on the other hand, will ensure that all the necessary components are available to developers through distributors, said Thompson.
Freescale claims that its WaRP platform offers three key features, namely, a flexible form factor, extended battery life, and expandable architecture.
Freescale's Wearable Reference Platform consists of a main board and a daughter card (box in red).
The platform comes with two boards. The main board is built on Freescale's i.MX 6SoloLite ARM Cortex-A9 apps processor as the core processing unit. A daughter card, which can be replaced as needed, offers a hub sensor, wireless charging, and motion sensing pedometer.
Developers can change the main board daughter-card configuration, depending on the device, said Thompson. Freescale also hopes an open-source community will start developing a variety of daughter cards to address a number of different wearable applications.
The wearable reference platform kit, consisting of the main board, a daughter card, an LCD display battery, and a micro USB cable, will become available in the second quarter of 2014.
A nonprofit community-based organization, www.WaRPboard.org, will provide service and support for the wearables reference platform, according to Thompson. The solution's hardware and software will be open-sourced and community driven. No closed development tools or licensing fees are required when used in conjunction with open-source resources.
— Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent, EE Times