Tag Archives: Cortex -M0+

MixStik will help you make the perfect cocktail in seconds


MixStik is an interactive wand that guides you through cocktail recipes using color-coded LEDs.


Admittedly, some of us are just not cut out to be bartenders. The idea of having to mix various ingredients, let alone measure the right amounts, can be overwhelming. But what if there was a simple tool that could help ease this pain and have you whip up the perfect cocktail every time? Thanks to Magnified Self, that may soon be a reality. Meet MixStik.

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From the creators of the B4RM4N smart cocktail shaker, this lightsaber-like device works by guiding you through the mixology process with variously-colored LEDs that light up to the level which you need to pour. Essentially a less bulky, more user-friendly iteration of its predecessor, MixStik goes inside a glass and connects with its accompanying smartphone app via Bluetooth. From there, you can choose your desired drink, calibrate it from a selection of different glass sizes, and then proceed to follow the instructions on your phone and the wand.

Beginning at the bottom and working your way up, the MixStik’s LEDs will illuminate instructing you to add the right amount of each ingredient, respectively. For instance, it will glow yellow for an ounce of tequila, green for a lime juice, blue for ice and red for some grenadine, until you’ve completed your delicious concoction, whether that’s a Tom Collins, a Mojito or a Bloody Mary. MixStik will even suggest which cocktails you can make based on the bottles of alcohol you have handy.

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Aside from its 24 embedded RBG LEDs, the gadget features with an ARM Cortex-M0+ core, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a USB port for recharging its Li-ion battery. Impressively, one smartphone can drive up to five sticks — certainly great news for the sociable sort who likes to throw parties. MixStik even also has small rubber spikes at its bottom tip to provide you with a a better grip and act as a muddler to squish mint and other soft ingredients. It can, of course, be used to stir the mix as well.

Streamlining a drink’s recipe is only one of MixStik’s capabilities, though. The developers have created an open API, which will enable users to tinker around with the wand’s light functions and motions sensors. Equipped with a three-axis accelerometer, this opens up endless possibilities from interactive lightsabers to drinking games to fashion accessories. Not to mention, simply enter text and use the in-app camera settings to capture some beautiful light painting.

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Sound like your cup of (Long Island Iced) tea? Head over to Kickstarter, where the Magnified Self team is seeking $39,000. From the look of things, MixStik has already experienced much greater success than B4RM4N and is well on its way to surpassing its pledge goal. Delivery is expected to begin March 2016.

The OwnWatch is a Arduino-compatible smartwatch


Maker creates a fully hackable, Arduino-compatible smartwatch based on the Atmel | SMART SAM D21. 


Moritz Wenzel has emerged once again, this time with the latest iteration of his Arduino-compatible, software and hardware expandable DIY smartwatch. An upgrade of his earlier device, Tardis, the OwnWatch is completely hackable and enables Makers to connect their Arduino projects with both the wearable itself along with its paired smartphone via Bluetooth.

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“Currently, every company on the market [has] built their own smartwatch, nice small devices that makes your life a little bit easier and more comfortable. But for a Maker, a hacker, a hobbyist or a nerd who loves hackable devices and creating own projects, these ‘boring’ smartwatches are no real alternative,” Wenzel explains.

For the OwnWatch, the Maker improved upon Tardis’ original housing and its hardware, most notably by replacing its ATmega32U4 core with an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 Cortex-M0+ MCU and providing additional BLE support thanks to a new dual mode Bluetooth module. Aside from that, the wearable is packed with a plethora of sensors, including a gyroscope and accelerometer, three temperature sensors, a pressure sensor and an ambient light sensor.

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Meanwhile, power is supplied by a 180mAh LiPo battery, and audio can be emitted through its built-in speaker or a set of headphones. OwnWatch is equipped with two tactile buttons that allow a wearer to navigate through the main menu and switch between various functions like the time, calculator, image viewer and settings, as well as return to the home screen. A pair of programmable indicator LEDs can also be found on its frontside.

Intrigued? Follow along with the Maker’s progress on his project page here.

The smallest, lowest power Bluetooth Smart solution has arrived


The Atmel SmartConnect Bluetooth platform delivers the industry’s lowest power, smallest footprint and most integrated system solution on the market. 


Earlier this year, we unveiled an ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart solution for the burgeoning Internet of Things. And now, we’re excited to announce that the Atmel SmartConnect BTLC1000 is shipping in production quantities.

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Consuming less than 4mA in RX and less than 3mA TX at 3.6V, the industry’s lowest power, smallest footprint Bluetooth Smart solution is capable of increasing battery life by as much as one year or more for certain applications. Pushing the limits of space constrained areas, the BTLC1000 boasts an unprecedented 2.2mm x 2.1mm Wafer Level Chipscale Package (WLCSP) — significantly smaller than any other on the market today. This, of course, makes it ideal for the rapidly growing IoT and wearables spaces, including portable medical equipment, activity trackers, human Interface devices and gaming controllers. What’s more, the tiny solution supports beacons and other application standards for leading smartphone operating systems.

For those unfamiliar with the BTLC1000, the ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart SoC features an integrated Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M0 MCU and Bluetooth transceiver. The device can be used as a BLE link controller that connects as a companion to any Atmel AVR or Atmel | SMART MCU. Plus, it can even be employed as a standalone apps processor with embedded BLE connectivity and external memory.

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In addition to all that, the BTLC1000 can come as a production-ready and fully-certified module for FCC ETSI/CE and IC regulations, thereby facilitating product design and reducing overall time-to-market.

Atmel’s BTLC1000 can be powered by a number of different battery types, ranging from coin cell, AA and AAA to Lithium polymer, without the need for external power management circuitry. The SoC utilizes an innovative radio and DSP architecture that delivers extremely low power consumption along with high performance, as well as provides a cost-effective solution for many Bluetooth Smart-based applications by integrating the BLE Radio and Baseband with an ARM Cortex-M0 MCU. The need for very few external components minimizes the total system solution cost.

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To accelerate a designer’s development, an all-inclusive BTLC1000 XSTK starter kit is now available ($99) to evaluate the Atmel BTLC1000 with the Atmel | SMART SAM L21 Xplained PRO host MCU evaluation board. Beyond that, the BTLC1000 XPRO extension board ($25) can be ordered individually and can be plugged into any of the supported Atmel host MCU Xplained boards to easily add Bluetooth Smart connectivity.

Secure your Raspberry Pi and Linux applications with ZymKey


ZymKey makes it easy to secure your IoT applications and manage them in the real world.


More times than not, developers are faced with two bad options: either deliver a substandard product quickly, or reinvent the wheel and miss the market altogether. Luckily, one Santa Barbara-based startup has come up with a solution, not just a band-aid but a true fix to the all too common conundrum. Introducing ZymKey, a tiny, low-cost piece of hardware for authenticating and encrypting data between Internet of Things devices.

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The key integrates silicon and software into a simple, ready-to-go package that will automatically work with Raspberry Pi and other Linux gadgets. What’s nice is that the ZymKey integrates seamlessly with Zymbit’s existing IoT platform, which includes Zymbit.Connect software, the Zymbit.City community and the Zymbit.Orange secure IoT motherboard that was on display back at Maker Faire Bay Area. Together, Zymbit enables IoT professional developers and Makers innovate faster with the confidence of data security and integrity.

“The Internet of Things will reach its full potential when real people like you and I begin to connect our devices and share data streams,” explained Zymbit CEO Phil Strong. “Then we can work together to solve real problems that impact our everyday lives. Funding our Kickstarter campaign is not just about building the ZymKey, it’s about enabling an entire community of people to collaborate around secure data streams and ideas.”

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Ideally, Zymbit will make it easy to not only collect but to share data in a trusted manner. The platform embraces open technologies and gives people the freedom to innovate quickly without having to compromise security or performance. Aside from that, the so-called Zymbit.City will serve as a forum for those with common interests to collaborate on ideas powered by such verified and authenticated information.

ZymKey works by attaching to IoT Linux platforms like the Raspberry Pi. When combined with Zymbit’s Linux APIs, it offers true authentication and cryptographic services of remote devices, as well as a real-time clock and accelerometer to timestamp security events and detect physical tampering, respectively. For its Kickstarter launch, ZymKey is available in two versions: a header-mounted crypto key for the RPi and a USB stick that plugs into the port of a Linux board, including BeagleBone, UDOO and Dragon.

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For the RPi model, the low-profile hardware attaches directly to the Pi’s expansion header while still allowing Pi-Plates to be added on top. Lightweight firmware drivers run on the RPi core interface with software services through Zymbit.Connect. Meanwhile, the USB version adds more functionality and is usable on any Linux unit with a USB host.

“Great security has to be designed end to end. From silicon to software, from point of manufacture through end-of-life. ZymKey brings all this together and makes it easy to manage your applications and devices out in the real world, without compromising security,” the team explains. “ZymKey integrates speciality silicon with firmware drivers on the host device and the corresponding software services in the cloud. The result is a robust and secure communication workflow that meets some of the highest standards in the industry.”

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Both ZymKeys are embedded with an ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication IC for bolstered security, while the USB version also features an Atmel | SAM D21 Cortex-M0+ core. Once connected to the Zymbit platform, you will have the unprecedented ability to transparently manage all of your remote devices from a single console — upgrade over the air, configure admin rights, and so much more. Additionally, you will be able to publish, subscribe and visualize secure data. Each ZymKey comes pre-packed with dashboard widget that make it simple to customize and share with others.

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So whether you’re connecting one Linux gizmo in your garage to a public forum or have tens of thousands of Raspberry Pis deployed throughout the world, ZymKey seems to be an excellent option for everyone. Interested? Head over to its Kickstarter page, where the Zymbit team is seeking $15,000. Delivery is slated for December 2015.

ŌURA is a smart ring that will help you sleep and perform better


ŌURA is a ring-sized wellness computer that helps you sleep and perform better, without the bulkiness and distractions of other wearables. 


“The ŌURA ring may well be the first sleep tracker that works. I met the founder, and backed their Kickstarter,” Tim O’Reilly recently tweeted in response to the revolutionary wellness computer’s newly-launched campaign.

Although health monitors have gotten smaller, more precise and sleeker over the last couple of years, they still tend to be a bit too bulky for unobtrusive 24/7 wear, especially during sleep. So what’s more convenient than sporting a bracelet around your wrist? A ring on your finger, of course!

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With a form factor like ŌURA, the device can fit snugly against your skin and accurately capture the body signals necessary for measuring and interpreting your sleep habits, physical activity and other performance-related indicators. What’s more, you’ll notice that the wearable gadget lacks a display and buttons, removing unnecessary distractions from our lives. Instead, the unisex ring communicates to an accompanying mobile app via Bluetooth.

ŌURA can automatically detect when you’re asleep. During your slumber, the ring analyzes the quality of your rest and recovery by keeping tabs on your heart rate, respiration, body temperature and movement. When awake, it monitors the duration and intensity of your activities, and the time you spend sitting down.

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Its app then collates and visualizes this data to identify patterns between your sleep quality and daily routine. By understanding how well you slept and refueled, it can determine your readiness to perform and help you adjust the intensity and duration of your day’s activities accordingly. Aside from that, the water and scratch-proof ceramic ring offers personalized recommendations on how to maximize your active periods and improve upon your nighty shut-eye.

“The ŌURA ring works without demanding your attention, or distracting you and your lifestyle. The ring knows when you go to sleep, and when you wake up, when you are active, and when you are sitting. It uploads data to your phone automatically,” the Finnish startup writes.

Should you not have your phone, the ring can still function as a standalone computer with its own temporary memory, which can store data for up to three weeks. And once your mobile device is nearby, ŌURA will sync back up.

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In terms of hardware, the ring is built around an ARM Cortex-M0 core and features Bluetooth Smart connectivity. Its 40mAh Li-ion battery boasts a life of about three days, and can be easily refueled by placing it inside its just as aesthetically-pleasing charging station. Simply drop the ring inside when it’s running low and it’ll juice up in an hour.

Even more, the data generated through ŌURA can be merged with other health-related information. In fact, the team is already collaborating with We Are Curious, which allows users to track and chart multiple data streams at once, including daily consumption (caffeine, alcohol, sugar), sleep aids you might be trying (valerian, melatonin, acupuncture) and other factors in your environment (barometric pressure, CO2, pollen count).

Sound like a wearable health monitor you’d like to have? Hurry over to its Kickstarter campaign, which has already surpassed its $100,000 goal. Units are expected to ship in November 2015.

The SAM L22 is a Cortex-M0+ MCU with a segment LCD controller


The Atmel | SMART SAM L22 delivers down to 39uA/MHz running CoreMark and features a segment LCD controller, peripheral touch controller and tamper detection. 


Atmel has expanded its popular lineup of secure, ARM Cortex M0+-based MCUs with the new SAM L22 series. The Atmel | SMART SAM L family is the highest scoring product family in the EEMBC ULPBench and offers an ultra-low power capacitive touch with a segment LCD controller that can deliver up to 320 segments, making the devices ideal for low-power applications such as thermostats, electric/gas/water meters, home control, medical and access systems.

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The Internet of Things is driving connectivity in various battery-powered devices making security and ultra-low power critical features in these devices. With this in mind, the SAM L22 series boasts 256-bit AES encryption, cyclic redundancy check (CRC), a true random number generator, Flash protection and tamper detection to ensure information is securely stored, delivered and accessible. To get the lowest possible power consumption, the devices use Atmel’s proprietary picoPower technologies and smart low-power peripherals that work independently of the CPU in sleep modes. The latest MCU can run down to 39µA/MHz in active mode, consuming only 490nA with RTC in backup-mode.

“As more devices in the consumer, industrial and home automation segments are becoming smarter and connected, these devices require a number of unique features including ultra-low power, security, touch capability with an LCD — all features that are currently provided in the SAM L22,” explained Oyvind Strom, Atmel Senior Director of MCUs. “Atmel is already engaged with a number of alpha customers developing metering, thermostat and industrial automation solutions based on the new Atmel | SMART SAM L22 series.”

In addition to segment LCD supporting up to eight communication lines, capacitive touch sensing and built-in security measures, the SAM L22 includes up to 256KB of Flash and 32KB of SRAM, crystal-less USB device, programmable Serial Communication modules (SERCOM) and Atmel’s patented Event System and Sleepwalking technologies.

Those wishing to accelerate their designs will be happy to learn that the new SAM L22 Atmel Xplained Pro is now available. This professional evaluation board with an on-board debugger and standardized extension connectors is also fully supported by Atmel Studio. While the Atmel SAM L22 series is currently sampling, production release is slated for December 2015.

This smart candle lets you connect with loved ones


The Lovlit Candle is a new way for people to keep in touch with loved ones, without having to pick up the phone. 


Wouldn’t it be nice if a loved one could send a quick gesture letting you know that they’re thinking of you? Or, if you had an easy way to communicate without having to make long distance calls while away on business in a different country? That’s the idea behind engineer Joshua Jameson’s latest device.

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When the 26-year-old Georgia Tech grad was given an assignment to design a product that conveyed a human emotion, he decided he wanted to create a technology that not only could relay one’s affection without having to pick up the phone, but could still establish a sense of closeness in spite of the distance. The result? An Internet-enabled, flameless candle called Lovlit that can light up whenever held — even if that means being separated by thousands of miles. A single Lovlit can also be illuminated remotely using its accompanying mobile app.

Ultimately, Lovlit Candles are intended to act as a symbol of love for those who are away from those they care about the most, whether they’re studying at school, traveling on vacation, serving in the military or recuperating in the hospital. After a few seconds of being held, it will slowly begin to emit a warm white light. As it remains in one’s hands, it will fully illuminate and start flickering like a candle. The longer the gadget is held, the longer both your candle and the one it is connected to will stay lit.

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“When you know a loved one is going through a tough time and you’re not able to be there with them, it can be hard to let them know you care. Words escape us, flowers die, cards don’t always capture our true feelings. But the warm glow of candlelight from the gentle touch of caring hands could quite literally light up their day,” Jameson explains.

If you need to “put out” the candle, you can simply place your hand over the top of it, causing it to fade within a few seconds. However, if you lift your hand off the candle before it is fully extinguished, the Lovlit will spring back to life, as bright as it was before. It should be noted that extinguishing yours does not turn off the other paired candles.

Designed with people of all ages in mind, the Lovlit is super easy to set up and even easier to use. To configure, all you need to do is access your Wi-Fi router and download the companion app on your smartphone. From their, the app will walk you through the process, such as entering your credentials and selecting the friends and family members you want to connect with via the candle.

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At the heart of each palm-sized unit lies an Atmel | SMART SAM D Cortex-M0+ MCU along with a WINC1500 Wi-Fi module. On top of that, the Lovlit Candle is packed with a rechargeable battery, an underglow ring-of-light, as well as sensors to detect one’s touch.

Sound like a device you’d like to have to stay connected with family and friends? Head over to the Lovlit Candle’s Kickstarter campaign, where Jameson and his team are currently seeking $75,000. Pending all goes to plan, delivery is expected to get underway in February 2016.