What the Intel Curie Compute Module Means to Makers

Published Date
16 - Aug - 2016
| Last Updated
12 - Sep - 2016
What the Intel Curie Compute Module Means to Makers

The Intel® Curie™ Compute Module is an Intel® Quark™ system on a chip that provides a complete low-power solution for wearable devices and consumer or industrial edge products. The module has a built-in six-axis combination sensor, includes a Bluetooth* low energy (Bluetooth LE) radio, and features low power usage and pattern-matching capabilities for analyzing sensor data, making it the perfect board for building “always-on” projects like health and fitness trackers. Because of its coin sized form factor and astonishingly low price (projected at $10), it provides endless opportunities to innovate and create affordable, well-connected products and solutions.

The Intel® Curie™ module comes with a complete software platform that includes all the required hardware, software, and software development kits to build advanced, connected wearable products. To get started quickly, you can purchase the Arduino 101* development board (starting at $29.99), which ships with the Intel® Curie™ module and provides everything you need to build connected products quickly.

The Arduino 101*/Genuino 101* Board

The Arduino 101*/Genuino 101* board is a development board that contains the Intel® Curie™ module. It’s designed to integrate Intel® Curie™ module low power consumption and high performance with the Arduino* platform.

The Arduino 101/Genuino 101 board adds Bluetooth* LE capabilities and has an on-board six-axis accelerometer/gyroscope sensor through the Intel® Curie™ module, providing exciting opportunities for building innovative connected products. Arduino is widely supported and has many sensors, actuators, and shields (such as Wi-Fi shields for supporting Wi-Fi connections). Code is already available that you can use with Arduino 101/Genuino 101 development boards to build a variety of connected apps. To start prototyping and developing apps on an Arduino 101 development board, you can use the Arduino integrated development environment, which makes it easier to build, deploy, and run your apps.

The Arduino 101 board provides various dedicated libraries (for example, the Intel® Curie™ Bluetooth LE library) for communicating with Bluetooth devices, the CurieTimerOne library to add timer functions and add/manage events capability, and the CurieIMU library to read values from an on-board gyroscope/accelerometer.

Note: Stay tuned for a Software Development Kit (SDK) that will allow you to run an RTOS on the Intel® Curie Module. Sign up to receive more information.

Communication Strategy for Intel® Curie™ Products

Knowing how your end product or device will integrate with other systems should be a key design consideration. The Intel® Curie™ module supports the Bluetooth* LE protocol, so one option is to connect your Intel® Curie™ or Arduino 101*/Genuino 101* board to a smartphone over Bluetooth and use your smartphone’s cellular (GSM) or Wi-Fi connectivity as a hub to connect to the Internet. Together with data from an accelerometer, gyroscope sensors, and global positioning system data (available from your smartphone), you can detect vibrations and measure acceleration and rotations and track the precise location of an object (device or end product). These out-of-the-box options, along with low power usage, give you the option to build and realize many connected use cases in consumer as well as industrial applications.

Another option is to connect your Intel® Curie™ board to an Intel gateway over Bluetooth, then use the Intel gateway for local analysis and to filter and send the relevant data to your Internet of Things (IoT) cloud platform for further analysis. Your choice of network strategy depends on your use cases and how your end product will be used.

Building Use Cases with the Intel® Curie™ Module

Let’s look at a few use cases to help you visualize the kind of connected apps you can develop with the Intel® Curie™ module.

Sports Tracking and Training Products

Because of its size, the Intel® Curie™ module makes it easy to embed the module into various sports-specific components, such as baseball bats, tennis rackets, and skateboards. The use cases focus on providing real-time insights into the game so that viewers remain engaged or on using insights from the game to improve player performance. Other, similar use cases including using the data collected from professional athletes to help train amateur players. For example, data from a connected baseball bat can help coaches and trainers determine the swing and velocity movement of an amateur player and compare it with data from a professional player to help the amateur improve his or her game. A mobile app can help each user track his or her performance, training activities, and what the athlete needs to do to improve his or her performance. The same can be applied for a cricket game by training a player based on his batting patterns and movements (captured through the Intel® Curie™ module) and improving his game. Similarly, you could embed an Intel® Curie™ module in cricket bats and pads to track player movements, such as cover drive and hook shot. The board would capture data on the player’s swing, range of movement, and speed in combination with other sensors.

In sports, adding any weight to the instrument—for example, a baseball bat or tennis racquet—could change its form factor, but the small size of the Intel® Curie™ module should eliminate such a worry. In the future, a bat, racquet, or ball could be embedded with an Intel® Curie™ module during the manufacturing process itself. An entire stadium could be a connected smart facility, with an Intel gateway to take the data from the many connected devices, analyze it locally, and display the analysis on billboards or viewers.

Fashion and Lifestyle Products

The real innovation in a connected world comes from using data from connected products in other connected products to provide innovative business solutions. For example, say a person places jewelry in a smart banking digital locker. If that locker is connected, the owner could receive updates from the locker on its inventory. Tracking individual pieces of jewelry is also possible when those pieces have an Intel® Curie™ module embedded in them. The embedded ring or necklace can communicate to a gateway device over Bluetooth* low energy, and the gateway can connect to the IoT cloud platform, sending the data or status of the piece. The digital locker itself might be equipped to communicate to the Internet and support Bluetooth low energy, which the Intel® Curie™ module–embedded jewelry can use to connect to and communicate with the IoT platform. The mobile app of the bank in which the box resides can now include an additional feature that lets the boxes’ owners track the products in their digital lockers. Similarly, jewelry stores could track their inventory and individual pieces, helping improve security, prevent theft, and ensure auditing and compliance.

Health and Fitness Products

The Intel® Curie™ module provides the perfect cost-effective option for tracking health and fitness parameters. The module’s low power usage and battery charging capabilities makes it a powerful option for always-on health and fitness devices. The out-of-the-box Bluetooth support allows devices equipped with an Intel® Curie™ module to connect to and communicate with other Bluetooth-enabled devices (like smartphones). You can ship mobile apps for various compatible smartphones (Android*, iOS* and Windows*) that track the health and fitness data and display it to the user. The smartphone connectivity option can also serve as a hub to transfer the health and fitness data over the Internet to a cloud platform for further processing (although the real value of transferring the data to the cloud is to track anomalies, identify patterns, and trigger alerts to inform the patient’s doctors, if required).

Smart Farming Products

Farmers can attach devices embedded with Intel® Curie™ modules on animals to track their health through movement, vibrations, and activity/inactivity periods. From the connected data, anomalies and behavior analysis can help predict individual animals’ health and well-being. Many farms are remotely located and may not have Internet connectivity, but you can deploy a drone that visits the farming site daily (or whenever required) to capture the data over Bluetooth* and send it to the system for analysis.

See how the HerdDogg team created a device to gather herd data on the America’s Greatest Makers TV show.

The possibilities are endless with the Intel® Curie™ module.


This article provided an introduction to Intel® Curie™ module and showed how you can embed it to build advanced and cost-effective connected products. The Intel® Curie™ module, because of its coin-sized processor, six-axis combination sensors, Bluetooth* LE radio, low power usage, and pattern-matching capabilities, is a perfect choice for building smart, advanced connected products.

For more such intel IoT resources and tools from Intel, please visit the Intel® Developer Zone

Source: https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/what-the-intel-curie-compute-module-means-to-makers#

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