Intel unveils button-sized Curie module to power future wearables
Intel has today unveiled Curie, a low-powered module no bigger than a button, as part of its vision to lead in the wearables field. Company CEO Brian Krzanich announced the module, which will be built on a tiny new chip called the Quark SE, during his keynote at CES in Las Vegas — a year on from announcing the Intel Edison platform.
The module incorporates the low-power 32-bit Quark microcontroller, 384kB of flash memory, motion sensors, Bluetooth LE and battery-charging capabilities in order to power the very smallest of devices. Intel is hoping Curie will prove the flexible solution designers need to create wearables such as rings, pendants, bracelets, bags, fitness trackers and even buttons. It has been created with always-on applications in mind, so will be suitable for devices that relay notifications or constantly track a wearer’s activity.
Intel started down this road with its stamp-sized 22nm Edison SoC and the Curie module shrinks it down even further. The module uses Bluetooth LE and has a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope to track movements and recognize gestures. It can run either off a rechargeable battery or a more traditional coin-like watch battery, though Intel doesn’t say for exactly how long. Curie basically turns just about anything into a gadget that’s at least as smart as your average fitness tracker. Rings, buttons, glasses, watches, whathave you.