Intel Curie: This $10 Module Provides Powerful Data in a Tiny Package
A whole lot of power is packed into the tiniest possible package when it comes to Intel’s Curie module, a button-sized device that offers a complete, low-power solution for a range of wearable devices and consumer products. The minuscule object may not look like much in the palm of someone’s hand, but it’s a powerhouse capable of delivering some seriously impressive smart features, from real-time athletic performance data to intelligent robotics.
Since it consumes so little power, this groundbreaking module is ideal for applications that are always on, like social media and fitness activities. It features battery charging circuitry (PMIC), 32-bit Intel Quark micro controller running for extended periods on a coin-sized battery, and comes with 384kB flash memory and 80kB SRAM. The 6-axis combo sensor works with accelerometers and gyroscopes and transmits data using Bluetooth low energy. Its small size makes it a great fit for integration into streamlined product designs.
The Curie is also capable of pattern-matching, making it an ideal solution for optimized analysis of sensor data. It’s especially useful for applications that track movement measurements like speed, rotation, and g-force, enabling athletes to hone their skills with unprecedented precision. Intel calls this “the science of sports,” predicting that the digital revolution will provide richer, more interactive viewing experiences for fans and highly detailed performance metrics for judges and announcers.
At this year’s CES in Las Vegas, Intel put the Curie’s power on display through a range of sports-based applications. Intel Curie modules placed on professional basketball dunkers and CES attendees gathered real-time analytics to turn data captured during physical challenges into “actionable intelligence.”
Another cool Curie capability makes password management a lot easier for the average user. Intel’s new Identity IQ SDK imbeds the Curie module into a wristband and uses it to unlock a computer whenever the wearer is within a certain range. A secondary password must be entered whenever the wearer removes the band to prevent someone else from accessing the devices.
Intel offers a companion software platform created specifically for the Curie module, offering an end-to-end solution for developers working on their own unique products. The platform includes all hardware, software, firmware, SDK, and devices needed for a variety of cases and supports iOS and Android devices.
In addition to sports tracking, training, and fitness products, the Intel Curie can be integrated into fashion and lifestyle accessories like location-mapped jewelry for inventory management, and even “smart farming” products that track animals’ health and well-being. Check out the kinds of innovations that are possible at the Intel Internet of Things Hub on Instructables.
Want to test out its capabilities for yourself? A great way to start is with Intel’s Arduino 101, which was the first product to make use of the Curie module. This entry-level gadget pairs the Curie’s micro controller performance and low-power consumption with a basic Arduino open-source computer hardware module for all kinds of fun projects, aimed primarily at makers and educators. The Curie starts at just $10, and the Arduino 101 is available online starting at $30.