According to Peter Hoddie, Marvell’s Kinoma VP, the kit includes all the hardware – and software tools – needed to start creating connected consumer electronics and their companion apps.
To appeal to professional programmers, it includes the free downloadable Kinoma Studio development environment with a simulator as well as a wireless debugger to eliminate cables. It is built around the open source Eclipse-based IDE that runs on both on Windows and Mac OS X and incorporates a customized lightweight Linux distribution for the devices.
Because the target audience of designers are those mobile app developers for Apple's iOS and Google's Android, it has aplication packages both environments. “Product engineers have been working on fragile development boards with complex embedded tools for too long,” said Hoddie. “It’s time for a change.”
On the hardware side it is built around an 800 MHz ARM SoC (Marvell Aspen System-on-a-Chip) and includes everything the company thinks will get an design up and going as soon as possible: a QVGA capacitive touch screen; Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth wireless connectivity; USB 2.0, including USB OTG (On-The-Go); as well as a wide range of I/O options.
The new kit is clearly targeted at an set of developers and markets it well understands mobiles and smartphones. The kit uses familiar mobile building blocks which will allow smartphones and other consumer devices “talk” to other devices, phones, and tablets, as well as connect to sensors – say in a home appliance – as well as link with web services for additional information and functionality.
The “new” Internet of Things market is already crowded with a multitude of competitve development platforms that will make it difficult for Marvell to get the visibility it needs. To get it the attention the platform will need to be successful – without significant investments in promotion and development – the company has tied the product introduction to a parallel crowdsourcing campaign at Indiegogo.
To read more about the thinking behind the development of the platform, go to Junko Yoshitda’s interview with Peter Hoddie,