Intel Edison System-on-Module For IoT

The Intel Edison is a 2nd generation System-on-Module (SoM) computing chip from Intel designed for rapid development and prototyping of custom Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as consumer wearable products, robots, drones, and industrial edge devices.  The Edison compute module packs some impressive functionality into a small, convenient form factor.  Its features include:

  • 500 MHz Intel Atom dual-core processor
  • 1GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 4 GB of eMMC flash memory
  • 11n dual-band Wi-Fi; 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz
  • Hirose 70-pin DF40 Series header with 40 pins for GPIO
  • Bluetooth
  • Yocto Linux OS

Developers can embed the Intel Edison directly into devices, or mounting it to a development board such as an Arduino Expansion Board, or Edison Breakout Board, for more power and connectivity options.  For programming options, developers choose between the C, C++, Python, or JavaScript (Node.js) programming languages.  The Intel Edison can also support the Arduino IDE.  Your choice of IDE comes down to project and device requirements, as well as which language will be used to interface with the devices.  All IDEs can be found on Intel’s website.

One of the key features the Intel Edison is its ability to process very intense workloads such as data from various sensors and devices, and then forward that data up to the cloud, via some type of gateway device.  Through a seamless interaction with cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or IBM Watson, that data can then be further analyzed, stored, or used to trigger other actions such as alerts.   The amount of possible products that you can create with the Edison compute module is quite remarkable and limited only by your creativity and programming ability.

For example, let us consider a new way to think about two-factor authentication for security.  You could incorporate the Intel Edison compute module and Intel’s RealSense short-range camera into an access control solution that also uses voice recognition.  When a subject approaches the camera, a 3D facial scan is performed and the subject is also asked to speak a specific key phrase.  The resulting data transmitted to Amazon Web Service’s Lambda and DynamoDB services.  There it can be further analyzed, compared to, and selected from a database of millions of stored image and voice files.  A message confirming a match or no match is transmitted back to the access control device and the subject is either granted or denied access to the property.  This solution would ultimately work the same for a door to a building as well as any of your personal computing devices.

Currently the Intel Edison Kit for Arduino is priced at $84.99 an the Intel Edison Break Out Board Kit is priced at $58.99.  Both kits are available at major online retailers such as Amazon and Newegg.

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