Tag Archives: wireless

Billions of chips, unlimited possibilities


Vegard Wollan reveals that there are now more AVR chips in the wild as there are people in the world. (Note: A loose translation from Adressa’s recent article.)


Though the slogan “Enabling Unlimited Possibilities” may not be the most modest as they come, why should it have to be? Especially when your company, whose heritage has ties to Trondheim, is at the forefront of the incredibly popular and ever-evolving IoT innovation battle.

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Vegard Wollan, AVR co-founder and VP of Atmel’s Touch Business Unit, had the chance to catch up with local Trondheim newspaper Adressa to discuss some of his team’s latest developments. One in particular, the maXTouch family of touchscreen controllers provides unprecedented hover and proximity capabilities, where a user no longer is required to touch the display, but instead triggers different functions by simply holding their finger right above it.

Just the other night, several Atmel employees in Trondheim came together to celebrate not only their commitment to the local community but an impressive milestone, namely 7,338,088,583 AVR chips. To put that figure into perspective, that is at least one MCU for each person on Earth.

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“It’s insane! We have the increasing ability to top what we’ve done previously,” Wollan says. “We have been doing this for 20 years and have never had such high production as we do now. In 1999, we thought it was giant milestone to pass 10 million. Now, we have produced 7.3 billion and create about one billion units a year.”

The figure is almost as impressive as the customer list of “little” Atmel Norway, and its tight-knit team of just under 200 employees. Wollan highlights a few of the top tier brands powered by the stalwart microcontrollers, which include some of the largest and most recognizable names out there today. Among those are Google, Microsoft, Bosch, Sony, Samsung, LG, General Motors, Ford, Jaguar and Tesla.

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“And this is just an excerpt. When we started the company in 1995, we dreamed about getting some big customers such as LG or Sony or Mercedes or what not. And now we have this list! So it’s really what we are celebrating and we are madly proud of,” Wollan adds.

Another focus as of late has been on China, and the next generation of gizmos and gadgets coming out the country where Atmel has played an integral role in their development, most notably ZTE and Xiaomi. While both of these manufacturers may not be the most globally known brands (yet), they have contributed millions of smartphones to the consumer market — many of which based on Atmel solutions.

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“Our customers in China have now launching new phones with new technology from us. We have developed a whole new edge-free design for smartphones, so you get the larger screen without the phone being bigger. The screen goes absolutely to the edge with virtual edge buttons without the buttons here. You hold such phone as a camera and phone camera turns on. And pressing your index finger on the top right hand side on, and you take a picture,” Wollan explains.

One of the coolest projects worth mentioning is a recent collaboration with global music sensation, Coldplay, who commissioned the help of the Trondheim team. Wollan goes on to laughingly reveal, “It’s a little funny that one of our engineers have been in the practice room with Coldplay to test our technology.”

Through wireless connectivity, Coldplay has been able to transform its sold-out crowds into brilliant canvas of colorful LEDs, all while providing greater engagement amongst its fans. As concertgoers enter the arena, they are given a flashing bracelet that can be remotely controlled from any PC and pulse to the rhythm of the band’s music.

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“You had to see the whole place light up in flashing, multi-colored bracelets. When we saw it from the stage, we could not believe we had managed to achieve this. It is about everyone, not just about the band and the fanatical folks at the stage, but all of us become part of the show by having a small armband.”

Wollan shares that Atmel is continuing to develop its initiative with Coldplay, but cannot go into more detail at this time. During the celebration of the company’s achievement the other night, employees were even given a chance to experience the wireless wearable devices as they waved their arms to the beat of some tunes.

Intrigued? You can tune-in to the entire segment here!

Wino is an $11 Arduino-like board with Wi-Fi


Wino is like an Arduino in a much smaller form factor with built-in Wi-Fi.


Recently launched on Kickstarter, the Wino is an Arduino-compatible board with built-in Wi-Fi that is designed to help bring IoT ideas to life in a cost-effective manner — $11 to be exact.

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Boasting a much smaller form factor and lower price tag than other Arduinos on the market today, the Wino is built around the Atmel | SMART SAM D21 — the same chip at the heart of the Zero. This gives users more speed, space and several new features, all while consuming minimal power. The unit runs at an operating voltage of 3.3V, includes 15 digital I/O and seven analog I/O pins (six 12-bit ADC, one 10-bit DAC), 16KB of RAM and 128KB of Flash memory. Meanwhile, its on-board Wi-Fi module comes with a simple web-based setup that makes the device accessible from just about anywhere.

The layout combines an uber small size (26.6mm x 18.6mm) with a 27-pin stackable header, enabling Makers to easily upgrade the Wino with functions like relay and power measurement, battery supply, temperature monitoring, DC and servo motor control, motion sensing, as well as USB which allows a user to program their board by opening a web browser and selecting a Wi-Fi network. Once connected, a Maker can communicate with the module from any TCP/IP device, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC.

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Those Makers just starting out will appreciate that Wino comes with pre-installed, open source software, thereby eliminating any prerequisite programming skills. What’s more, the board supports the highly-popular Arduino IDE, giving users the ability to upload existing Arduino codes or employ one of the countless libraries available.

“Since over a year the design of the board was constantly improved and optimized. The goal was to create a hardware which combines als necessary features which makes it a perfect basis for connected devices. And this a a very small size,” its team writes.”The main task was provide the board at a minimum price which makes it easy to use the board even in low cost applications (like wireless switches). We are very confident that we found a good solution that combines functionality, small size, performance and costs.”

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Interested in devising a home automation, multimedia or fitness IoT project? You may want to head over to Wino’s official Kickstarter page, where German startup IAN is currently seeking $28,019. Delivery is slated for November 2015.

Aistin is an Arduino-compatible modular IoT sensor platform


This family of 20+ wireless sensors enables Makers to devise their own connected solutions. 


Recently launched on Indiegogo, Aistin is a small, lightweight and modular sensor platform for the Internet of Things. The brainchild of former Nokia R&D team members who together make up iProtoXi, these low power, wireless devices are helping Makers bring their ideas to life by focusing on three main elements: compactness, expandability and mobility.

“Instead of functionally limited ready-made IoT sets, or flexible but unpractical self-wired desktop hassles, we wanted to inspire people to create new mobile products by providing the best that can be achieved with current technology,” the Finnish startup shares.

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Aistin is comprised of various sensor heads including environmental, motion and passive IR modules, as well as programmable LEDs, switches and other dev boards suitable for a wide range of IoT projects. Makers can choose from Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, wireless LAN and IQRR radios for connectivity, while example firmware, a web-based interface and a mobile app are provided to accelerate development.

“You can setup the logic how your Aistin sensor node works, what is the sensor reading interval and what is the trigger to start the sensor readings. You can also read the stored sensor data from the sensor node internal memory, if you have left your sensor node alone and connect it afterwards. Mobile application visualizes the sensor data. Sensor data can be stored in the application and then forwarded for further use,” its creators explain.

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What’s nice is that the sensors can be used either as a standalone, a smartphone accessory or attached to anything to become part of a complex IoT solution. The fully expandable Aistin family currently has about 20 members and comes housed inside a variety of 3D-printed covers. At the core of every unit is an open source Bus24 interface, which is a combination of standard I/O buses (like I2C, SPI and UART), along with intelligent power management signals to enable long battery life. Development kits with the Bus24 provide a low-cost, easy-to-deploy series of sensors for developing IoT nodes and corresponding applications.

“Aistin wireless sensor nodes are connected to a gateway. GW provides connection to Internet/intranet. Typically WLAN or USB is used. Sensor GW/nodes makes TCP connection to an Aistin server that is located in laptop, Raspberry Pi or other computer which has Linux, Windows or MAC operating system. Aistin server (SW) provides a web socket interface for web client. Web socket is used to carry sensor data from the server to the visualization page,” the team writes.

To really make use of the revolutionary Bus24 connector, Makers have the option of selecting from a comprehensive set of add-on MCUs. Among those already compatible is the popular ATmega32U4. Meanwhile, iProtoXi hopes that the number of available expansion boards will continue to grow exponentially in the future.

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As for the sensors — each of which are named after the owl, an extremely intelligent and intuitively knowledgable animal — are compact enough to fit on just about anything, from a milk cap and a sink faucet to a power outlet and inside the refrigerator door. One device in particular, the Owl Brain, measures 36mm x 18mm in size and is based on the ATmega32U4, allowing it to be easily programmed using the Arduino IDE.

Depending on the version, Owl Brains are equipped with several Bus24 connectors, a microUSB port, controllable RGB LEDs, a Li-ion battery charger, current and battery measurement circuitry, a real-time clock and a multi-functional button. The board also packs an accelerometer, a barometer, a humidity sensor and 256KB of EEPROM. Beyond that, two of its models (the CPU242 and 252) include an integrated Wi-Fi module, making it what the iProtoXi team calls “probably most feature-rich Arduino conformant board ever created.”

Those wishing to explore Aistin’s entire lineup can head over to its official Indiegogo page, where the team is currently seeking $56,000. Delivery is expected to begin later this year.

Thingsquare is putting the IoT at your fingertips


This IoT platform enables users to build their connected product in a matter of days.


Thingsquare, an IoT startup who has emerged as one of the pioneers in connected product development, has launched an open prototyping tier enabling engineers, designers and Makers to envision and prototype their smart devices in a matter of minutes.

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For those unfamiliar wtih Thingsquare, the all-in-one software platform provides Makers with all of the necessary tools to quickly add Internet connectivity to their product via smartphone. Ultimately, this easy-to-use solution reduces the time typically required to bring an idea to mass market from months to just days.

The platform works by connecting smart devices, such as lights and thermostats, which have a programmable wireless chip running the Thingsquare firmware. The wireless MCU and the firmware securely sync the gadget to the cloud backend server that handles the API for the app. From there, Thingsquare builds a resilient wireless mesh network where one router offers seamless Internet access for all mesh nodes, also allowing users to upgrade their firmware over the air.

“Devices form a wireless mesh network and connect to the Internet. Devices use their Internet connection to authenticate with the Thingsquare cloud and begin announcing their presence. The smartphone app discovers devices and authenticates with the Thingsquare cloud. Users can login and control devices either locally or remotely. The app can notify the user if something important happens,” the team explains.

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Thingsquare has even made it possible to try a minimalist version of app without any hardware by providing a built-in virtual hardware mechanism that lets a user run the platform from their phone.

“A virtual device acts as a real wireless hardware device, but runs as software on your smartphone. To the Thingsquare platform, the virtual device looks just like a normal hardware device. Virtual devices send and receive data in the same way as wireless hardware devices do.”

As for the hardware, the solution will support a wide range of SoCs — most notably the Atmel | SMART SAM R21. This calls for at least a pair of SAM R21 Xplained PRO evaluation boards, two microUSB cables (one for each device), an Atmel Ethernet1 Xplained PRO extension board, an Ethernet cable, a Wi-Fi router with an Ethernet port, as well as a PC for uploading the firmware to the chips.

What’s nice is that the Cortex-M0+ processor supports external devices on GPIO pins that can be controlled from the smartphone. The SAM R21 creates a self-healing wireless mesh with one MCU acting as an Ethernet gateway with the Xplained PRO Ethernet extension board. This process, including all of the necessary code, has been made available on Github.

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What’s more, the newly-revealed open prototyping tier will help resolve a number of problems often encountered throughout development. This is accomplished by providing wireless connectivity by way of a self-healing and self-forming mesh network, a simple app that users can build themselves, and if necessary, secure remote access.

“The cool thing with connected product is how many different markets it touches. Anything that benefits from being connected is rapidly becoming connected,” the startup adds. “Further, the Thingsquare platform lets you put your next product’s app in the hands of your potential customers right from the start, and provide remote support.”

Evident by the sheer number of malicious hacks in recent months, smart gadgets require protection, something of which the company has embedded into its platform from the start through secure authentication. Beyond that, other features of the app include discovering, interacting, positioning and sensing nearby devices as well as collecting data from the wireless mesh. At the moment, the app runs on iOS (version 8.0) and Android (version 4.3) smartphones.

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“Our customers are demanding complete, easy-to-use IoT solutions that can quickly bring a full system to market,” explains Magnus Pedersen, Atmel Product Marketing Director. “Our cooperation with Thingsquare is an example of that, with a web-based toolchain and open source firmware to offer our customers a fully integrated hardware and software solution for various IoT applications.”

Ready to get started designing your first IoT gizmo? If so, check out Thingsquare’s open prototyping tier. Meanwhile, those wishing to learn more about how the platform works can do so here.

These smart potholes tweet complaints directly to city officials


Potholes in Panama City are sending tweets to city workers every time they are run over.


Did you know pothole damage can cost motorists in the U.S. alone nearly $6.4 billion annually? At one point or another, you’ve probably learned the hard way that hitting a crater in the road not only could damage your tires, but wheels, shocks and struts as well. And making matters worse, those repairs can be expensive. According to AAA, these can range from $50 for a simple realignment to thousands for replacing a tricked-out rim. Over the lifespan of a car, insurance agents claim that a driver can shell out upwards of $2,000 due to damage from poor road conditions.

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And it’s safe to assume that when driving over a pothole, it’s fairly common for someone to let out their anger with those inside, and sometimes outside, the car. In Panama City, people aren’t the only ones complaining. In fact, the potholes themselves are as well — and taking their strife to Twitter.

The aptly named Tweeting Pothole is a recent initiative launched by one of the city’s popular TV stations Telemetro Reporta in collaboration with ad agency P4 Ogilvy & Mather to raise more awareness around the poorly maintained streets.

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The project is comprised of two parts: a durable, hockey puck-like device equipped with motion and pressure sensors that is placed inside a pothole and a small RF transmitter that is located somewhere nearby. When a vehicle goes over the pothole, it triggers the sensor to relay a signal to the wireless module, which in turn, automatically sends out a disgruntled message to the Twitter account of the Ministry of Public Works requesting repair.

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Telemetro Reporta had put the devices into a number of potholes throughout some of the city’s busiest roads. And to no surprise, the municipality’s Twitter feed was immediately inundated with a flood of automated tweets. Since then, the @ElHuecoTwitero account has already garnered over 3,500 followers and has received mainstream media attention. It appears that after this stunt, many potholes have already begun to vanish. In other words, it seems to be working!

Pretty smart idea, right?

17 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


NEA

NEA

This sleek, unibody machine comes in three different sizes, making it like the Golidlocks fairytale of 3D printing — one for papa, mama and baby bear. NEA 3D is currently seeking $75,000 on Indiegogo.

C.H.I.P.

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This $9 computer lets you save documents, surf the web over Wi-Fi and play games via Bluetooth. Next Thing Co. is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Modulo

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This set of tiny modular boards will take the hassle out of building electronics for Makers. Modulo Labs is currently seeking $10,000 on Kickstarter.

CyPhy LVL 1 Drone

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This easy-to-use, intuitive drone shares captures high-quality footage effortlessly. CyPhy Works is currently seeking $250,000 on Kickstarter.

Smart Plate

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This connected plate instantly tracks and analyzes everything you eat. Maker Anthony Ortiz is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Wallet Drone

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This mini drone, which is being billed as the world’s smallest quadcopter, fits into a wallet-size controller. Maker Robert Morrison is currently seeking $11,894 on Indiegogo.

Linkitz

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This set of electronic components simply snap together in different combinations to create custom wearables. Dr. Lyssa Neel is currently seeking $95,000 on Kickstarter.

ARbot

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This spherical robot and mobile app combination allow you to partake in augmented reality tank battles in your office, at home, or just about anywhere. Roboboom is currently seeking $32,000 on Indiegogo.

NFTY

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This all-in-one charging solution acts a portable power bank for your wearable devices, smartphones and tablets. NFTY is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

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This smart boombox is equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen and built-in Wi-Fi that connects to an Android platform for uninterrupted streaming of today’s most popular apps. auris zwing is currently seeking $75,000 on Indiegogo.

Radian 2 Bluetooth

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This Bluetooth-enabled controller is ideal for creating still, panning, tilting and sliding time lapse footage. Alpine Labs is currently seeking $153,471 on Kickstarter.

Lumkani Fire Detection

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This early-warning fire detection system integrates the mesh network of in-home fire detectors and sends text alerts with GPS coordinates to community leaders and authorities in the event of a fire. Lumkani is currently seeking $45,000 on Indiegogo.

nScope

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This portable device boasts a USB-powered oscilloscope, function generator and power supply to transform any laptop into an electronics workbench. nLabs is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

Wond

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This handheld stylus excites, sustains and controls vibration of your guitar strings or any steel-stringed instrument. Innovator Paul Vo is currently seeking $35,000 on Kickstarter.

Fizzics

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This battery-powered countertop machine transforms store-bought beer into a draft-quality beverage through oscillation and high-frequency sound waves. The Fizzics team is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

HearNotes

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This pair of earbuds deliver uncompressed, high-fidelity stereo audio without a single wire to get in your way. HearNotes is currently seeking $75,000.

Remocam

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This smart security camera can be placed anywhere — at home or in the office — and controlled remotely from your smartphone. Remocam is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here. Also, if your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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This Wi-Fi-enabled touch light lets you stay connected with loved ones


This smart lamp gives users a decorative yet unobtrusive way to stay connected with the people they care for the most.


Picture this: A grandparent touches a lamp. Immediately, their grandchild who happens to be hundreds of miles away sees their light change. Not only does this enable the kid to know grandpa is thinking of him, the child can also respond back by placing their hand on the device as well. Or perhaps, you have a partner in the military and want a quick reassurance that they are okay.   The possibilities are endless.

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With the rise of the Internet of Things (not to mention more grandparents moving to Boca Raton or Scottsdale), a new decorative light will be able to connect loved ones without ever having to pick up the phone. Dubbed Filimin, the gadget connects with other Filimins via Wi-Fi and changes colors when touched. Once this occurs, other lamps within its network will also match the color anywhere in the world at the speed of the Internet.

Filimins provide a simple, beautiful alternative to the noise of communication we all experience every day in our pile of emails, messages and seemingly never-ending social notifications. The smart lamps have one job and one job only: to reach out to those we care about without texting, reading or dialing. This is ideal for when you’ve got nothing to say and a simple gesture lets someone know you’re thinking of them.

How it works is pretty straightforward. Touch the Filimin once and it will glow one of hundreds of possible hues. Touch it again and the color will vary slightly. Continue tapping to find a color that best suits your expression.

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Each Filimin is powered 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 based MCU along with a wireless module. This convergence of technology allows the device to easily be configured and operate independently from smartphones and laptop computers. Meanwhile, the series of RGB LEDs embedded within each Filimin are capable of emitting millions of colors and are designed to last the life of the product.

“Since Filimin communicates with no words, you and the people you care about get to choose the meaning of your interaction. Maybe you want to tell your friend that you’re ready to meet at your favorite hangout. Maybe you want to tell your cousin overseas that it’s an ok time for a video chat. Perhaps somebody you care about is in the hospital and you want to let them know you are thinking of them,” creator John Harrison explains.

In today’s always-on-the-go world, it’s often difficult to keep in touch with those you care about most. What’s nice about tho smart device is that it could be a continuous presence, even in times that you don’t have time or anything to share. Sound like a decorative yet functional piece you’d love to have at home? Head over to Filimin’s Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $50,000. Shipment is expected to kick off in December 2015 — just in time to wish your loved ones happy holidays with some festive red and green lights.

Atmel and MXCHIP develop Wi-Fi platform with secure cloud access for IoT apps


SAM G MCU + WILC1000 Wi-Fi SoC + MiCO IoT OS = Secure Cloud Access 


Atmel and MXCHIP, a top 10 China IoT start-up according to Techno, have announced that the two companies are coming together to develop an ultra-low power Internet of Things (IoT) platform with secure Wi-Fi access to the cloud, enabling designers to quickly bring their connected devices to market. This collaboration combines ultra-low power Atmel | SMART SAM G ARM Cortex-M4-based MCUs and the SmartConnect WILC1000 Wi-Fi solution with MXCHIP’s MiCO IoT operating system, servicing a full range of smart device developers for IoT applications.

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“We are excited to team with MXCHIP to bring secure cloud access to IoT developers with this ultra-low power and secure, connected platform,” said Reza Kazerounian, Atmel SVP and General Manager, Microcontroller Business Unit. “In an effort to accelerate the growth of IoT devices, such as wearables and consumer battery-operated devices worldwide, this platform enables embedded designers to focus on their differentiated smart devices without requiring expertise on lowering power consumption, security and wireless connectivity. Our joint efforts will enable more designers of all levels to bring their smart, connected designs quickly to market.”

With the rapid growth of the IoT market, these smart devices will require secure access to the cloud on what will likely be billions of battery-operated devices. The new platform will pair Atmel’s proven ultra-low power SAM G series of MCUs, designed for wearables and sensor hub management, and the secure ultra-low power SmartConnect WILC1000 Wi-Fi solution along with MXCHIP’s leading MiCO IoT OS for next-generation IoT applications. This integrated platform gives IoT designers the confidence that their battery-operated devices will have longer battery life and their data will be securely transferred to the cloud.

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The Atmel WILC1000 is an IEEE 802.11b/g/n IoT link controller leveraging its ultra-low power Wi-Fi transceiver with a fully-integrated power amplifier. This solution delivers the industry’s best communication range of up to +20.5dBm output, ideal for connected home devices. Embedded within packages as small as a 3.2mm x 3.2mm WLCSP, the WILC1000 link controller leverages in this platform Atmel’s SAM G MCU, an ideal solution for low-power IoT applications and optimized for lower power consumption, incorporating large SRAM, high performance and operating efficiency with floating-point unit in an industry-leading 2.84mm x 2.84mm package.

When combined with secure Wi-Fi technology, the joint IoT platform connects directly to each other or to a local area network (LAN), enabling remote system monitoring or control. For increased security, the platform comes with an optional Atmel ATECC508A — the industry’s first crypto device to integrate ECDH key agreement, making it easy to add confidentiality to digital systems including IoT nodes used in home automation, industrial networking, accessory and consumable authentication, medical, mobile and other applications.

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“This collaboration combines synergies from both companies to IoT designers including Atmel’s global presence with MXCHIP’s local resources enabling IoT designers to smoothly implement cloud services for their smart, connected devices in China and around the world,” said Wang Yong Hong, CEO, MXCHIP. “Our platform combines both ease-of-use and simplicity allowing IoT designers from all levels to access cloud services worldwide ranging from professional designers for smart, connected IoT devices to Makers, educators and hobbyists. We will also collaborate on a number of other fronts with Atmel including IoT research, promotions, and share our IoT knowledge on smart, secure and connected devices across multiple industries.”

Interested? To accelerate the IoT design process, the platform — which will be available in May 2015 — includes the MiCOKit-G55 development kit, technical documentation, application notes and a software development kit.

This Arduino-compatible board makes it easy to automate your home


This versatile, AVR-based board allows users to easily program their own home automation systems.


Though the number of smart home devices continue to rise, a number of consumers still remain a bit hesitant in shelling out the big bucks to automate their homes. Instead, many Makers have already begun to devise connected in-house gadgets using easy-to-use platforms like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. With this in mind, one Miami-based startup has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an ATmega328P based board that looks to help streamline the process for Makers looking to install home automations of their own using the Arduino IDE.

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Created by the GarageLab team, the aptly-named Automation Board packs a wide range of features including relay triggering, Wi-Fi, Internet connectivity, various sensors, as well as RS-485 communication. The extremely versatile platform is entirely compatible with the Arduino Uno, and offers all of the necessary resources one would require to create a smart home system.

With its power source soldered onto the unit itself, the device is charged from the electrical grid with voltages between 100 to 240VAC and 50-60Hz, making it adaptable to any grid around the globe. It also has four relays to trigger alarms, electronic locks, fans, lamps or any other compatible load.

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Knowing all too well that connecting sensors can be a tedious task for Makers, the Automation Board was designed to expedite the process. Meaning, the pins that are ready to link to a sensor can be either digital or analog, and include 5V and ground. This lets users attach several kinds of sensors, ranging from an IR sensor to create communication with a TV remote or motion to trigger an alarm.

Similar to the incredibly popular Arduino platform, the Automation Board offers tremendous expandability through the use of shields. What’s more, the platform allows for RS-485 connection, ideal for applications in industrial automation systems or in settings with electromagnetic interference. It should be pointed out that users will be able to utilize spcific programs to integrate with existing professionals systems as well.

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Through its dedicated headers for XBee modules, Makers will be able to connect as many Automation Boards as they wish to a network. Beyond that, they can wirelessly communicate with a PC via a simple XBee Dongle USB, or even access their automation system over the web using a SparkFun WiFly module.

“In order to make your system even more versatile, we’ve created this ‘Sidekick’ board as a very interesting accessory. It’s compact and can be powered directly from the electrical grid as it has connectors for XBee and 2 relays,” the GarageLab crew writes. “This board can be controlled by signals sent from an Automation Board, allowing it to trigger distant loads through a wireless network. You will be able to use as many ‘Sidekicks’ as you wish, triggering several charges in a same wireless installation.”

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Are you thinking of using an Arduino to automate your home? Hurry over to the Automation Board’s Kickstarter campaign, where the GarageLab team is currently seeking $3,000. Delivery is expected to begin in August 2015.

17 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


MetaWear

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This mini wireless sensor platform can be programmed and controlled right from your smartphone. MbientLab is currently seeking $5,000 on Kickstarter.

The Palette

Pal

This filament feeding system connects to a single-extruder 3D printer and transforms it into a multi-color gadget, all through the use of a standalone box. Mosaic Manufacturing is currently seeking $75,000 on Kickstarter.

Orbit1

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This efficient, easy-to-use electroplating device lets you coat just about any 3D print in metal. Monolith Studio is currently seeking $200,000 on Kickstarter.

Oomi

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This smart home system is not only taking the smartphone out of the equation, but enhancing security, comfort, entertainment and ease-of-use along the way. Oomi Home is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Mirobot

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This DIY Wi-Fi robotics kit is designed to help children learn technology and programming. Mirobot is currently seeking £5,000 on Kickstarter.

Oak

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This tiny, Arduino-compatible development board features built-in Wi-Fi and a secure cloud-powered platform, allowing Makers to create connected projects and products with ease. Digistump is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

UKnekt

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This smart, remote-controlled gadget lets you feed and treat your pets from anywhere, anytime. The UKnekt team is currently seeking $87,500 on Indiegogo.

UDOO Neo

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This low-cost, open hardware computer can be programmed in any language and run a full Linux environment with graphic interfaces, all with the simplicity of an Arduino-compatible board. UDOO team is currently seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter.

Fuel Book

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This plug-and-play device can turn any car into a smart car with self-diagnositcs, tracking and fuel analysis capabilities. Fuel Book is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

The Ultimate Golf Swing Analyzer

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This smart system provides golfers with an instant, accurate and elaborate swing analysis right at their fingertips. 3Bays is currently seeking $60,000 on Kickstarter.

Nextear

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This set of ultra-small, wireless earphones pair with any Bluetooth Smart gadget to play studio quality music. Nextear is currently seeking $20,000 on Indiegogo.

GasWatch

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This Bluetooth-enabled propane tank scale measures how much gas is left and alerts you through your phone so that you never unexpectedly run out while grilling again. GasWatch is currently seeking $25,000 on Indiegogo.

Lumino

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This Bluetooth smart plug transforms your bedside lamp into a dawn simulator, making it a bit easier to get up in the morning. Lumino is currently seeking $30,000 on Indiegogo.

Lorian Burner

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This compact racing drone has all the adjustments of a professional multi-rotor which can adapt as you progress. Lorian is currently seeking £10,000 on Kickstarter.

GeniCan

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This intelligent garbage can automatically create your grocery list, match coupons to products and even deliver items to your doorstep. GeniCan is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

C-mi

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This all-in-one camera drone can be easily transported to cool locations and seamlessly controlled from a single mobile app. C-mi is currently seeking $125,000 on Kickstarter.

Vulcan I

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This team of undergraduates is racing to become the first student organization to successfully launch a rocket powered by a 3D-printed engine. SEDS@UCSD is currently seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here. Also, if your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure todownload the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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