The phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT) has been around for many years now, but the ways we use this term is really just starting to get hot now. And last week, at the Internet of Things World expo in San Francisco, Samsung officially dove in to the deep end of the IoT pool with the launch of their Artik line of processors that combines hardware and software to help companies quickly and easily build Internet-connected devices.
To keep it simple, Artik comes in three variations: Artik 1, Artik 5 and Artik 10, and according to CNet, “each subsequent chip [packs] in faster processing and more complex capabilities. The chips will range from less than $10 to less than $100.” And as you can see, they really are chip-sized (the Artik 1 is about the size of a ladybug) – but each one is a powerhouse of functionality. Check out the specs for the Artik 10 to see the top of the line.
According to Young Sohn, Samsung Electronics president and chief strategy officer in charge of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center, the most advanced Artik chip uses the same technology found in Samsung’s smartphone processors. “Everything’s already crammed in, so why don’t we take advantage of the technology developed for phones and make it available for [IoT]?” he said last week.
The possibilities for how the Artik can be used ranges greatly, and there are clever examples on the Artik website showing what some of Samsung’s early partners are doing with this technology. For instance, Temboo used Artik along with their embedded-device software to build a smart water tank that sends an alert to a smartphone letting someone know when water levels get too low, and then gives that person the option to remotely refill the tank from a backup water supply.
You can see a demo here – it is pretty nifty, and they do the whole thing in just a few minutes. The practical implications are enormous.
That water tank example is very timely, and concerns about water usage and drought have prompted Samsung to launch a developer competition using the Artik chips to build an IoT solution that addresses the needs of “the California water crisis with good technology and good ideas.” They are calling the contest “Makers Against Drought” or MAD, and they plan to give away more than $200,000 in prizes for the winning entries. Individuals that are interested in entering the contest need to apply by 28 May 2015 to be considered for participation. Those who are accepted will receive a free ARTIK Development Kit, technical support and direct access to the team at Samsung for feedback.
For those who just want to try out the Artik chip, you can also apply to receive an Alpha Developer Kit. They are giving access to a limited number of developers now, and they are accepting applications through 31 May 2015 – if you are interested, apply right away. Then check out this Getting Started Guide to see how to set up your Artik with your PC.
We are excited to see Samsung making a big splash in the IoT space, and we are eager to see how developers put this technology to work.