Smartwatches seem all the rage these days, with more models continually appearing. The advent of wearable-specific platforms, such as Android Wear, gives developers a chance to create interesting apps, but first they have to learn something about how smartwatches behave in a real-world environment.
For those working on a limited budget, a good place to start would be the Chronos development kit from Texas Instruments. The kit, along with substantial free software support from TI, provides a starting place for developers new to this kind of wearable computing. It's admittedly a first-generation design, without the graphics capability that Android Wear requires, but it still offers plenty of opportunity.
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For example, the Chronos was reportedly the basis of smart watches used in the recent World Cup soccer matches in Brazil. The nets were monitored with high-speed cameras that would determine whether the center of the ball passed the plane of the net's opening. The sensors would then send an alert to officials wearing a Chronos to let them know whether a goal had occurred. However, their use by officials was optional. Such technology is new and not yet fully trusted in soccer.
Anyway, we wanted to show you how the TI Chronos is put together, so we took one apart. Click the image below to start the slideshow of the TI Chronos teardown, then use the Next link to move through the images.
The TI Chronos kit gives developers the chance to create their own smartwatch and applications. Introduced in 2011, the kit still has applicability for app developers trying out new ideas. It is available with several different wireless frequency options for around $60. A reference design is
available from TI.
— Rich Quinnell, , Editor in Chief, IoT World