Samsung's Artik is the latest tool for the IoT gold rush

The company's new modules are designed to power upcoming devices built by others

In California's first gold rush, the real winners were people in San Francisco who "mined the miners," selling tools and supplies to everyone out looking for shiny metal. A century and a half later, the same thing is happening with the Internet of Things, where big vendors are plying IoT startups with software, hardware and services.

The billions of connected devices supposedly in our future are nothing until they actually go on the market and attract buyers. Developers are anxious to build prototypes and get into production, so vendors large and small are lining up to help them do it quickly.

A lot of that activity is taking place at and around the Internet of Things World conference in San Francisco. Startups like Ayla Networks and Mode are announcing tools and cloud services to cut out much of the work involved in developing IoT products.

Microsoft used the show to push its Azure IoT services, including billing, provisioning and analytics delivered from the company's cloud. Samsung Electronics unveiled the Artik series of hardware-software modules for devices on Tuesday, and Qualcomm is expected to announce its latest offerings in that area at an event in the city on Thursday.

None of these products sell themselves, so who's chosen to use them and what else they will work with are key. Samsung brought some intriguing examples on stage Tuesday.

Startup Boogio said using the Artik 1 module allowed it to craft a much smaller prototype of its sensor pad for feet. The Boogio pad senses movement and pressure from the wearer's feet, both standing and walking, so doctors are interested in using it with patients who have balance and mobility problems, the company says. Boogio thinks the sensors also could provide real-time data to the Oculus Rift headset for another element of realism as wearers walk through a virtual space.

The pad is designed to fit into the bottom of any shoe, but the previous prototype required a block of electronics that had to hang out over the side of the shoe. The Artik-based design has just a thin board the size of a small postage stamp, so it's closer to fitting fully inside the shoe. It also cut out time that Boogio previously had to spend integrating Bluetooth, power management and other components, co-founder and CEO Jose Torres said.

French startup Weenat plans to use Artik in sensors that farmers can stick into their fields. The sensors collect data about the soil and air and send it to the farmer's smartphone for better planning and decision-making. Weenat expects Artik to allow for smaller and more power-efficient sensors and to cut down on development time for adding new types of measurements.

The Weenat sensors will take advantage of Samsung's integration work with Sigfox, a French provider of low-power wide-area networks. Software for Sigfox is included in the Artik platform, and silicon and a connector for Sigfox are built into the development kit Samsung will sell for the Artik 5 and Artik 10, its larger modules.

Device creators using Artik will also be able to tap into some third-party software environments. Artik is certified for use with the open-source Arduino ecosystem popular with hobbyists, so the chips can be programmed using the Arduino Software Development Environment.

A software library from IoT software startup Temboo is also preloaded on every Artik module. The software works with Temboo's cloud service to simplify the programming of a device. Temboo demonstrated this with a water tank equipped with Artik-powered sensors. Temboo's cloud service automatically generated code to make the Artik device send a notification to a phone when the tank ran low and let a user tap a button on the phone to remotely start a refill pump after being notified.

Naturally, Samsung has its own uses for Artik, and the chips will play a role in the company's goal of making all its home electronics products Internet-connected by 2020, said Yoon Lee, vice president of the company's Smart Home and Digital Appliances division.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet of ThingsSamsung Electronicsinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?