UNICEF and ARM partner to bring wearables to developing countries
May21

UNICEF and ARM partner to bring wearables to developing countries

There have been many conversations lately concerning the sustainability of wearables, but eminent children’s charity UNICEF eliminated all question of wearables relevancy when they asked, “Can we develop innovative, affordable solutions to make wearables and sensor technology a game-changer for women and children across the world?” The Wearables For Good Challenge is an initiative currently crowdsourcing proposals “to identify and develop solutions for areas where wearable devices can generate tremendous social good.” UNICEF partners with tech mogul ARM and design company Frog to award two winners $15,000 for designs that are ultimately cost-effective, rugged and durable, low-power, and scalable. For ARM, the challenge is a blend of business opportunity and social responsibility. “It feels to me like the pace of innovation has increased, the cost of innovation has come down,” says CEO Simon Segars, noting his intention to explore the possibilities the wearables market may offer in developing countries. “So if some good comes from this, then that will be great.” Erica Kochi, co-founder of UNICEF Innovation Center is more optimistic. “When you think of wearable technology… you might not necessarily think UNICEF. But we see it as the future and a way to deliver value for children.” The challenge’s accompanying handbook offers some examples to consider; wearables to compare and contrast symptoms of illnesses, technology to monitor pregnancy, sensors to transmit critical health information to physicians nearby, community warning systems for natural disasters — just to name a few. Several thousand heads are better than one, so it will be interesting to see what the winning designs will be come...

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Recent ARM acquisitions strengthen ARM Cordio portfolio
Apr21

Recent ARM acquisitions strengthen ARM Cordio portfolio

Mobile processor designer ARM recently bought up Sunrise Micro Devices and Wicentric, which both specialize in low-power radio communications technology. ARM is using the intellectual property from the two companies to strengthen its ARM Cordio portfolio, a set of wearables and Internet of Things solutions. ARM develops the processor architecture for electronics, though the company does not manufacture the products themselves. ARM’s contributions to wearables could be astounding, as they’re often known for providing low-cost, reduced power-usage solution — key factors for any product that’s intended to be light and mobile. There are three Cordio Radio IP products so far, all part of the Cordio BT radio series: the BT4 radio IP, the BT Stack, and the BT Profiles, each for different kinds of devices. “This portfolio will complement ARM’s existing processor and physical IP targeting end markets requiring low-power wireless communications such as the Internet of Things (IoT),” ARM said in statement. According to ARM, at the heart of the Cordio radio hardware is “native sub-volt operation,” which allows devices to run on 1 Volt or lower of energy. Battery life for IoT devices can increase up to 60 percent just by dropping power requirements from 1.2V to 1V. Also, thanks to energy harvesting technologies, Cordio devices can run independently from batteries. Sunrise Micro Devices and Wicentric partnered up back in April 2014 to develop software for their Cordio BT4, made for IoT devices and sensors. Wicentric helped create the Bluetooth Smart software, which aided in the development of Cordio BT4. ARM is another technology company that has recently taken an interest in IoT. Both IBM and Intel have invested in IoT divisons. With giant corporations taking notice and a growing interest from the general public, IoT devices are bound to be...

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