Two of the biggest names in technology have come together to release a starter kit for those interested in the Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT.
Big Blue, which is trying to reinvent it as a Cloud-first company, will provide with the back-end infrastructure including paid-for cloud-based tools to analyse data recorded by the sensor included in the kit.
Speaking of the latter, it includes a pre-configured microcontroller PCB with an ARM-based Cortex-M4 processor with a built-in memory as well as an Ethernet port and two USB ports.
The sensor board, which is physically separate from the mainboard and fits on top of the latter, has a thermometer, a motion sensor, two potentiometers, a buzzer, a joystick, an LED light and even an LCD display (like the one in cheap calculators).
The kit is manufactured by Freescale and although the price as yet to be set, the BBC understands that it will cost between $50 and $200.
In comparison, the newer Raspberry Pi (AKA Raspberry Pi 2) computer costs about £30. It is more powerful, has more memory and storage and more connectivity options (albeit without that all important sensor board).
That said, they complement rather than compete with each other with ARM's offering targeting an IoT audience looking a more rounded offering while those interested in the Pi can always add their own sensors post-purchase.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.