The biggest announcement to come out of CES 2014 may be one of the smallest items exhibited this year. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich introduced Edison, a complete functional miniature computer that runs Linux with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth modules but occupies the same amount of space as a standard SD Card.
Edison is clearly aimed at powering the next generation of wearable devices and its miniaturized form factor may be a possibility for virtually any device developers want to add automation or connectivity to in the future. Often hardware manufacturers find developers slow to adopt new platforms, so Intel has taken some extraordinary steps to encourage robust interest from third-parties capable of making Edison a massive new technology revenue stream for Intel.
Nursery 2.0 is the name Intel used to describe a small collection of apps developed in-house to show the kinds of things Edison can do. They included a toy frog that reports vital signs of an infant in a home nursery to a wirelessly connected LED coffee cup, and a milk warmer that immediately begins making a fresh baby bottle the moment the toy frog hears the baby cry.
That may all sound nice, but what about cold hard cash? Intel answered that question by announcing a Make It Wearable contest that will include $1,300,000 in prizes for developers to win. First prize will be $500,000 cash and the contest is expected to begin by June of this year.
Beyond wearables, the implication of this powerful self-contained computer size is a future where computing power becomes even more modular, allowing consumers to extend the functionality or almost any powered device with a simple cartridge-like installation process.
NationalNet continues to monitor hardware development by mainline companies and independent start-ups to provide our customers with the best service, most reliable support and affordable pricing through innovation. Edison may not find its way into the servers of our collocated data center in a matter of weeks, but the technology will undoubtedly affect the way digital business is done in the future.