I think in comparison to the software part of the solution the hardware is easy. Hopefully there is a significant amount of SW support for any new reference platform. This is currently a very complicated area however. I would have liked to see more on it in this announcement. That it's missing is a big red flag to me...
@Junko: Thanks for a great article and lots of interesting information!!! I like the concept of WaRP concept and would look forward to Q2, 2014.
One of the aspects of the wearable electronics other than sensing & connectivity to internet is low power consumption. And yes, wireless charging could be a possible solution. I liked the idea of keeping an option of wireless charging on the daughter board...does this help in charging the battery on the mother board as well? In future I guess things will go battery less...low power & energy harvesting would be the requirement into the future.
I would not worry much about adding some kind of display, as the smart phone could serve that purpose.
One advantage of latching on to smartphone chips is to take advantage of the relentless innovation and scale of those SoC platforms. I have to wonder what the economics of using a higher-end SoC for applications where an MCU could do the job but will take more NRE to get full networking. Linux as a development platform is a powerful argument, particularly if the power utilization is about the same.
Interesting article Junko. Anything that can simplify the hardware/software design process for wearable devices should be welcomed and Freescale seem to have taken it to the next level building on what other semis vendors are also doing in this market.
As usual the proactive semis vendors are driving the market forward by enabling designers to bring products to market quickly and with minimal input into the nitty gritty of electronics design so that they can concentrate on what they are best at, creating innovative products.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a smartphone chip will power all these solutions. In many cases, all that is required is an MCU, connectivity, and the sensors. Equally as important will be the communictions hubs to manage the data and connectivity to the cloud.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.