ARM and IBM have teamed up to produce an Internet of Things (IoT) starter kit, consisting of an ARM mbed enabled development board and an application board containing sensors. The kit has been designed to "spur on the invention" of Internet-connected gadgets in about five minutes, from the time the kit is unboxed. It works by allowing the devices, hosting an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, to connect to IBM's cloud services and start sending readings to online apps.
Once purchased the kit's identifier is entered on IBM's website and with the mbed (www.mbed.org) board connected to the Internet one can view the data the kit is recording in real-time. The data can be processed and analysed by tools and services created by IBM and other firms. Alternatively, the tools can acquire the data and use the information gathered from them to control other Internet connected devices. The kit is manufactured by Freescale and as mentioned previously consists of a Cortex-M4 processor, clocked at 120MHz, with integrated floating point unit and DSP. It also has 256kB of RAM and 1MB of Flash memory.
A good use of these devices could be, for example, to create an Internet enabled security system where all security sensors are connected to an IBM cloud service monitoring application. This could allow whole streets to be monitored remotely from a central point without much infrastructure investment. According to ARM/IBM the application areas are endless and with the number of Internet-connected things expected to rise to nearly 20 billion by 2020 it's worth keeping an eye on this honey pot. We've seen the starter kit on sale for about £65, expect a review and a tutorial series soon.