With hundreds of millions of MIPS-based devices shipping every year, there is no shortage of interesting products to cover on this blog. In this article I’d like to focus on three new devices that I came across in my recent travels to MWC 2016 in Barcelona.
inWatch T: refining the smartwatch experience
Initially introduced in June 2015, the inWatch T smartwatch is now shipping to customers who’ve preordered their device; a rebranded model will be sold by the Haier Group in Europe later this year.
I was able to use the device for the first time at MWC 2016 and walked away impressed by its design quality and performance. The T model sports the MIPS-based Ingenic M200 dual-core wearable chip clocked at 1.2 GHz. Additional specifications include a high-resolution 1.4” touchscreen AMOLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 3 technology, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage.
The operating system is built on a customized version of the Tencent OS optimized for wearables and comes with pre-installed apps for fitness tracking, games and social networking (QQ and WeChat). After pairing the watch to my smartphone, I was able to enable notifications for Facebook and Twitter, my email client and other Android apps through the companion app. The same app also gives users access to a store where you can download interactive watch faces and additional software as well as manage your smartwatch and monitor its battery levels.
Securifi Almond 3: smarter, faster, better
I was perhaps among the first lucky few to own the original Almond router and was very impressed with its touchscreen-based UI and advanced smart home functionality. The new Almond 3 hub packs a lot more under the hood compared to the first edition, including a more powerful MIPS-based SoC from MediaTek and additional features aimed at the rising demands for more processing power for smart home owners.
The other aspect I like about the Almond is its unique design. In a deliberate attempt to differentiate itself from the “upside-down spider”-look of most prosumer routers, Almond fits nicely in the décor of your home.
The touchscreen is particularly useful – but not only for interacting with the UI. I’ve configured my Almond to run a weather app in standby mode so I don’t have to check my phone every morning before I leave for work. One feature that is particularly useful for larger homes is the ability to connect multiple Almond routers together to boost Wi-Fi coverage. Since I live in a two-bedroom flat, I haven’t really felt the need to use this feature but we’ve tested it at events and it works great.
Finally, the Almond has a lot of tricks up its sleeve when it comes to its smart home capabilities. Users can set up rules that automatically trigger an alarm in case of a breach. For example, if the sensor door detects movement when you’re away from home, Almond will send you a notification on your mobile phone and sound a built-in alarm. In addition, the router features ZigBee connectivity and is compatible with a whole range of sensors and devices, including Nest, Philips Hue, or Belkin.
Seeeduino: a powerful MIPS-based Arduino dev board
The Seeeduino Cloud is a new Arduino-compatible dev board from Seeed Studios that integrates a 400 Mhz MIPS-based Qualcomm Atheros SoC running OpenWrt.
The Seeeduino Cloud features a Dragino’s HE computer-on-module that acts as a Linux-powered hub for all networking and high-performance IoT tasks while a bridge to an Atmel microcontroller enables low-level embedded processing. We’ve seen this concept implemented before in the Disney light-based communications system where the Wi-Fi chip was used as a Linux-based programming and control interface for the microcontroller.
Like Arduino Yún, this board also features a number of libraries and hardware interfaces to help developers prototype connected applications easily. Most notably, Seeeduino Cloud joins the Microchip IoT Starter Kit among the growing range of widely accessible MIPS-based platforms for the AWS IoT Starter Kit developer program from Amazon.
We’ve ordered a few of these devices for use in future events and hackathons – I can’t wait to see how developers build the next generation of IoT projects powered by the MIPS architecture.