Intel’s Curie: The Future of the Wearables?

In the world of wearables, small is the new big. At least, the latest trend says so. Continuing its tryst with experimental concepts of last year, Intel demonstrated button-sized Curie this year at CES 2015. Named after the famous physicist Marie Curie, this module is too small that you can fit it as a button on the shirt. Intel showed off its design and engineering prowess in last year’s CES when it showcased a wireless charging bowl and Edison, a computer module, which was about the size of a postage stamp.

Intel’s Curie-The Future of the Wearables

Curie is a module of the size of shirt button and can be connected wirelessly. It can track motion and given its small size, it is powered by even smaller but juicier coin-size battery. It has 384kb flash memory and 80kb of RAM. This battery can power fitness trackers for extended periods and can also be recharged. Running on a button-size Intel 32-bit Quark microcontroller, a processor, six-axis sensors (gyroscope and accelerometer) and low-energy radio along with a dedicated engine to track different sports activity, ladies and gentlemen, we are here talking about the shrinking boundaries of fitness trackers and expanding size of the future of the wearables.

Since it can track motion, we expect that it to be a breakthrough in the wearables industry as many fitness trackers could use Curie as a platform to give us teeny-weeny fitness wearables and smartwatches. Not just wrist devices, from clothes to smart, connected jewelry, it can make everything click and run.

It cannot work with Microsoft Office on it but for smaller fitness modules like Oakley and Nike are used to make, it may work just fine.

To demonstrate that a miniscule platform like Curie does work, Intel built a basic step-tracking counter on it which was showed off by the Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich during his keynote speech at the CES and it indicated 1,788 steps taken by him during the address. Oakley’s CEO, Colin Baden was also presented there with him who later talked on about his plans to integrate Curie and a range of eyewear. According to Intel, there will be over 50 billion wearables in the market by the year 2020 that will be utilizing Curie or a similar platform.

Intel’s drive to wearable modules was much needed. It missed the bus to smartphones and now, when once-the-pioneer Intel is running out of steam in front of low-cost MediaTek or Qualcomm processor, it has to look for other options to prove its technical expertise. With the number of collaborations with international companies like Luxottica, Fossil and Opening Ceremony, the company does not want to go wrong with wearables.

The company does not intend to make it a standalone device but wants to offer it as a platform. So, may be by next year by second half you could see Curie-based devices. It has not been authorized by the FCC though the company is already pushing up the process for developers. When Curie will be released, it will be shipped with Intel IQ Software Kit to help tech adopters, lifestyle and tech companies to incorporate and integrate this advanced technology easily.

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