MediaTek has announced the creation of MediaTek Labs, a global initiative that allows developers to create “wearable” devices and solutions belonging to this future world of connected devices to which it has been called Internet of things (Internet of Things, IoT).
This program provides a development kit development software (SDK), a kit (HDK) hardware, and technical documentation, with the idea of offering this new generation of entrepreneurs, developers and creators the necessary tools so that they can bring their ideas in those fields as fashion.
The basis of this initiative is the development platform LinkIt, which is based in the chipset MediaTek Aster (MT2502). Through this platform, it is possible to create wearable devices and IOT, making them more profitable and taking advantage of the development model of MediaTek reference designs.
The Vice President of this new division of MediaTek, Marc Naddell, with which we had the opportunity to speak, he said that the company believes “that innovation enabled by MediaTek will boost the next hornadad of gadgets for consumers, as well as applications that connect thousands of millions of things and people around the world”.
A modular platform
MediaTek initiative is based on the use of the aforementioned SoC Aster, which, according to its makers, is the smallest marketed worldwide for wearables – Intel and its Edison may have to say something at this point – and to which it may be attached modules such as those who provide WiFi connectivity or a GPS receiver.
In addition to the SDK and HDK platform has its own operating system, Linkit OS, It allows manage all the hardware platform and prepare it for those scenarios for which developers have intended it.
Development hardware kit is compatible with Arduino and the company offers tools to move the code of these solutions to the MediaTek platform, providing interested developers to focus their attention to this very initiative projects “laboratory” into real products. On the other hand, the SDK for Android They allow you to connect creations hardware with already very popular mobile operating systems to try to take advantage of these developments from the first moment and control them, manage them, or use them as input or output of data media.
That’s according to Naddell one of the differentiating factors of this program: connections that MediaTek has with the industry of manufacturers makes that facet of production and technical support You can achieve that believe new devices based on this platform can convert them into real solutions that end up making massively.
For the Internet of things and the wearables
This Executive, who in the past worked for Nokia, NavTech or Motorola, highlighted the relevance that may have the Internet of things and how this field even It is at a very early stage in comparison, for example, with the segment of smartphones. However, in his view, the Internet of things “goes beyond the Smartphone, and to it are many more categories of products”. Industries affected – automotive, energy, technology – are enormous, and the modularity of these designs promises to offer diverse opportunities to developers and users.
MediaTek is interesting: wearables devices segment is currently on the crest of the wave, and indeed the own Naddell promised us surprises on issues such as the Smart Watches. They are already working on projects with companies like Omate, but in MediaTek are also shaping up the future and warned us of that “I were attentive” to future releases.
There are doubts in an important section for many developers that “Maker culture”: MediaTek platform is not Open Source, something that can bounce back to a number of interested parties. However, this ability to “professionalize” the ideas and turn them into a reality – going therefore beyond experimentation or hobby – could be an important asset if MediaTek Labs achieves its goal and placed Aster as a reference in a segment that is certainly not lacking in alternatives, some of them veterans like Arduino or Raspberry Pi. The MediaTek chipset, but is specially focused to werable devices and future IoT solutions both for size and cost, and will have to be attentive to the evolution of the program.
MediaTek offers components based on the platform in the form of the LinkIt ONE Development Board for $79, and at that price interested developers have cited plate – manufactured by the Chinese company Seeed Studios – which of course integrates SoC Aster, WiFi and GPS chipsets, and the tools hardware and software to get to work.