Tiny, low power, open source and purpose built for wearables. That's Intel's new Curie module, just announced at CES. And it's small enough to power 'solutions' - that's wearables - the size of a button.
Essential reading: The best wearables of CES 2015
Curie is not due to ship until the second half of the year though we are sure Intel's partners will get their hands on it earlier.
All you need to know about the specs of the thing is that Curie runs on an Intel 32-bit Quark microcontroller with 384kb of flash memory, 80kb of SRAM and a low power sensor hub with an accelerometer and gyroscope plus - of course - Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to smartphones.
Intel referred to the long battery life of future wearables, smartwatches and smart jewellery powered by the Curie but didn't go into specifics. All we know now is that it's designed for always-on devices.
"In the future, we will see wearable products created by companies that have historically never used silicon before," said Mike Bell, VP of Intel's New Devices Group. "It's now up to the ecosystem to innovate with this technology; rings, bags, bracelets, pendants and yes, buttons, will all be possible."
Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich was on stage during the company's CES press conference alongside Christoph Kohstall, the inventor of the wearable, autonomous selfie drone Nixie. The device won the grand $500,000 prize at Intel's inaugural Make It Wearable final in November based on a prototype powered by Intel's Edison processor. It was demoed for the first time in public this CES.
Kohstall and other Make It Wearable finalists, including teams from Blocks, Open Bionics and Arc Wearables, said in November that the Edison was too big for existing designs. But all the teams participating said that they would be interested in modifying the designs to work with a smaller Intel module. Well, guys, here it is.