Walking in a WICED™ Wonderland: Broadcom Demos Plethora of IoT Devices at CES 2015 Preview Event | Cypress Semiconductor
Walking in a WICED™ Wonderland: Broadcom Demos Plethora of IoT Devices at CES 2015 Preview Event
With the International Consumer Electronics Show just a few weeks away, tech bloggers and industry watchers are already speculating about the next big thing in consumer electronics, things like flexi-screened televisions or cars that don’t require a driver.
But Broadcom’s connectivity experts know that the next trend won’t be around “the next big thing” but instead, around lots of little “things” connected via apps to smartphones and the Internet.
Called the “Internet of Things,” the growth of these wirelessly connected devices is set to explode in the next five years — by some counts, to a staggering 40 billion connected gadgets.
At a media event this evening in San Francisco —dubbed “Geek Peek”—Broadcom is playing up the one big common denominator around many of these connected gadgets: They’re built on Broadcom’s low-power, out-of-the-box connectivity platform called WICED™.
Over the past year, Broadcom has expanded its WICED lineup to include a $20 development kit that comes pre-loaded with software and data-gathering sensors (WICED™ Sense™) and a Wi-Fi enabled dongle for the popular Raspberry Pi microcomputer.
“Broadcom is fully committed to IoT and we have the portfolio to prove it,” said Brian Bedrosian, senior director, product marketing, wireless connectivity combos at Broadcom. “Since we launched our embedded wireless program three years ago, we have introduced more than 10 products into the WICED family.”
This week, Broadcom unveiled some new capabilities for WICED, including a new dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® Smart enabled combo chip (the BCM43341) with a WICED software development kit that also adds Near-Field Communication (NFC) to any IoT device.
The combo chip reduces costs for makers of smart switches, home appliances, healthcare systems and wireless cameras by integrating all needed functionality onto a single device. Devices, such as wireless cameras with two bands of Wi-Fi experience fewer interruptions and benefit from a significant network performance boost—lending new applications for streaming high-definition images all over the home.
By adding NFC capabilities to the WICED software stack, IoT devices can get exponentially more user-friendly and perhaps, more personalized.
With IoT devices, NFC can do things such as simplify the set-up process between a smartphone, and say, a portable speaker. NFC enables a user to tap their smartphone to the speaker and instantly launch a music streaming application without a complicated startup menu or login.
The tap-to-control experience for NFC-enabled products is particularly compelling for smart home and medical devices without a display or user interface.
“The massive potential of NFC combined with the proliferation of the Internet of Things creates significant opportunities for Broadcom and our customers in home, medical, retail and enterprise markets,” Bedrosian said in a statement.
By integrating NFC, Broadcom also enables developers to create more complex products with customized profiles. For example, a user can tap their smartphone to a smart thermostat and the thermostat will recognize the specific user, and then set the house to the preferred temperature for that profile.
WICED, which debuted at Broadcom in 2011, aims to help the smart people who are creating those thousands of smart IoT devices: Developers, entrepreneurs, startups and at-home tinkerers.
They’re designed to be low-cost, conform to standards-based connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth® Smart and Wi-Fi.
WICED platform-enabled products on display at Broadcom’s “Geek Peek” include:
- Harman Kardon Omni Wi-Fi Portable Speaker
- Nod Ring
- Lifx Smart Light Bulb
- Homeboy Security Camera
- Breathometer Smartphone Breathalyzer