Freescale’s wearable platform kit (above) may not look like much, but it’s a big play for the future.
The platform, dubbed WaRP, is all about making it easier for future hardware makers to design and prototype wearable devices, even with minimal experience. With the platform, which includes a variety of sensors, developers can use a single kit for multiple form factors, including glasses, fitness trackers, and watches.
As Freescale says, WaRP is aimed at addressing the most pressing tech issues for wearable makers — battery life, miniaturization — letting them free up their brainpower for other differentiating factors. It’s the Raspberry Pi for wearables.
The move isn’t a particularly big jump for Freescale, whose embedded processors are already in devices like the Fitbit.
Overall, this is a good time for this kind of scalable, flexible platform. The wearables industry will hit $19 billion in sales by 2018, if you believe the numbers from Juniper Research. That’s 130 million units, tenfold today’s numbers. Freescale is just getting ahead of that.