Intel tweaks Edison to add more connectivity capabilities

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Intel has tweaked its recently unveiled Edison board for wearable devices to add more connectivity capabilities including sensors and wireless connectivity.

The move comes after developers and initial adopters asked for more input pins. “We decided to make Edison slightly better,” said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of the New Devices Group at Intel.

Bell revealed that Intel has added a sensor hub allowing users to add location, environment and light sensors. The redesigned Edison is a millimeter larger on each of the sides making it slightly bigger than the previous version of SD card-sized Edison; however, Intel said that developers prefer the larger version.

Bell said that the connectors are important to enhance the usability of Edison and “You can connect [any sensor] to this”.

Inclusion of sensor pins and thereby more sensors will definitely lead to increased power consumption, but Bell revealed that Edison’s chip will be able to handle the computation while consuming the minimal power required for such operation.

Bell further added that the improved and slightly larger Edison is better at handling data transfers through its wireless connectivity.

The increase in size, inclusion of new sensor hub and other improvements will however not hamper the release timeline of first Edison powered products, which are still slated for a summer 2014 release.

“By making these couple of changes we’ve really opened it up to a bigger market. We have a better product for people. It’s more flexible and it will come out in the same time frame”, Bell added notes Re/Code.

Bell refrained from spilling the beans on the kind of wearables Intel’s partners will building, but he did say that gadgets such as smart football helmet are the kind of things that Edison can power.

The revision of Edison comes just days after Intel announced its acquisition of Basis Science – a company known for its Basis band fitness wearable.