Freescale Semiconductor, a maker of small, low-power processors, has announced an effort based on a $149, Android-powered, open-source electronics board to try to help hardware developers build its chips into wearable computing devices.
Wearable computing has become the hot thing as companies seek to claim new territory in the tech market. The starting point is fitness devices, but smart watches like the Qualcomm Toq and eyewear like Google Glass offer more general-purpose possibilities, too.
"The highly flexible, system-level design kit supports embedded wireless charging, incorporates processors and sensors within a hybrid architecture for scalability and flexibility, and comes with open-source software," Freescale said in a statement. It's designed for several markets, including sports monitors, smart glasses, activity trackers, smart watches, and medical monitoring devices.
Warp includes the following elements: Freescale's i.MX 6SoloLite ARM Cortex-A9 processor as the core processing unit, its Xtrinsic MMA9553 pedometer, the FXOS8700 electronic compass, and a secondary ARM-based processor, Freescale's Kinetis KL16 microcontroller for handling sensor data and wireless charging. The design runs version 4.3 of Google's Android operating system.
Warp is an open-source hardware project detailed at WarpBoard.org, where the company hopes a community of users will exchange ideas and offer support. Revolution Robotics and Kynetics are involved in the hardware and software design, Freescale said.