Intel unveils new 'Joule' Internet of Things developer kit

But analysts say that it may be too expensive to take off

Intel has unveiled a new compute module for makers and developers looking to explore the Internet of Things.

Announced at Intel Developers Forum 2016, the Intel Joule kit is a small form factor device with support for Intel's RealSense cameras.

Specifically designed for embedded systems and IoT tasks, the Intel Joule comes in two different variants - the Intel Joule 550x and the Intel Joule 570x. The 570x has a more sophisticated configuration, while the 550x is available at a more affordable price point.

The company is aiming at encouraging aspiring makers, hobby developers and established enterprises to explore the IoT space, but analysts have said that the modules may be prohibitively expensive.

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"The more powerful system (the 570x) comes in at $379," Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom pointed out; "that's one hell of a lot of money to spend for a concept IoT device."

He suggested that the Raspberry Pi is a far more sensible choice for anyone wanting to get involved with IoT applications, adding "I don't see Joule spawning millions of IoT devices in the market".

Although Intel has partnered with Microsoft and GE to show off the potential uses for Joule and is selling the modules through its reseller partners, Longbottom does not think that the device will sell particularly large amounts.

"At the moment, I would take this as being a pure developer play, much in the same vein as the kits that TI used to sell/give away from mobile device software developers," he said. "For Intel, it is a means of pushing the use of Intel chips in more devices - no matter what size they are."

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