IBM and ARM collaborate on IoT Starter Kit

The tie-up will offer businesses a means to develop prototypes of new smart devices

IBM and ARM have unveiled an Internet of Things (IoT) Starter Kit, giving businesses the means to develop prototypes of smart devices using IBM's cloud and ARM's sensor services.

The kit comprises a Freescale-manufactured, mbed-enabled development board featuring ARM's Cortex M4-based processor and some built-in memory to carry out a single task, plus a sensor expansion board with a thermometer, an accelerometer, two potentiometers, a buzzer, a small joystick, an LED light and a rectangle black-and-white LCD display.

The two boards can be fitted together and connected to the internet using an ethernet cable. It can also be connected to a computer with a USB.

ARM will add a public beta of its mbed operating system for IoT devices and its mbed Device Server software to extend the number of commands and boost security.

When the device is up and running, developers can use the device's unique ID to view data in real time on a specially-developed IBM website, where a number of other tools will be available too.

Meg Divitto, vice president for IoT at IBM, said: "In order to make this work for businesses, it needs to be simple to connect physical devices into the cloud, and to build applications and insights around them. IBM Bluemix and the new ARM mbed starter kit are designed to substantially enhance that effort."

Freescale's director of marketing John Dixon said at the launch of the starter kit that it will allow anyone to create new devices with a robust data back end. The platform is scalable too, allowing organisations to produce tens of thousands of individual devices.

The IoT Starter Kit will retail for between 50 and 200.

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