Freescale, partners launch wearable device reference platform

Summary:Freescale teamed with Kynetics and Revolution Robotics to create the wearables reference platform (WaRP) designed to enable multiple form factors.

Freescale on Monday rolled out a reference platform for developers and hardware vendors to design wearable devices.

warp board

Not-so-shockingly, wearables have been one of the key topics at CES 2014. Most consumer electronics vendors will be pitching wearable devices and enterprises will increasingly have to adopt policies. Wearables will put a new spin on the bring your own device movement.

Freescale teamed with Kynetics and Revolution Robotics to create the wearables reference platform (WaRP), which features embedded wireless charging, processors, sensors and open source software. Revolution Robotics supplied the hardware and Kynetics focused on the software. WaRP is designed to be a utility kit for multiple wearable form factors.

Research: Guidelines for Google Glass and wearables in the workplace | Wearables policy

What's unclear is whether one reference platform can be used for everything from glasses to smart watches to monitoring devices. 

Robert Thompson, director of consumer business development for microcontrollers at Freescale, addressed that aforementioned question:

The hybrid architecture of WaRP, including both an applications processor on the main board (so the ability to support a high level OS such as android) and a lower power MCU on the daughter card enables the platform to scale from simpler devices to the most complex wearables.

With WaRP combining connectivity, battery life and integration, Freescale is hoping that developers can focus on features. WaRP consists of the following:

  • Freescale i.MX 6SoloLite ARM Cortex A9 apps processor;
  • Android support;
  • Integrated hardware, processor and hardware; 
  • A Freescale-built pedometer and compass and ARM microcontroller.

The project will be open source and supported by the community. The reference platform including a main board, daughter card and LCD display battery and micro USB cable is expected to be available in the second quarter for $149.

Also see: CNET's CES 2014 coverage

Topics: Hardware, Bring Your Own Device, Processors, Developer


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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