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Texas Instruments kit speeds development of IoT products

Steve Rogerson
June 10, 2015
A development kit that enables easy and quick integration of sensor data with wireless cloud connectivity has been introduced by Texas Instruments. The SimpleLink SensorTag aims to helps companies jump start development for IoT products.
The kit allows flexible development with multiple wireless connectivity options including Bluetooth LE, 6LoWPan and Zigbee available today based on the SimpleLink low power CC2650 wireless microcontroller (MCU). There are ten integrated low-power sensors.
DevPack plug-in modules extend the kits’ functionality and programmability. Out of the box capabilities include a free iOS or Android app, and no programming experience is required to get started. It can connect to the cloud in less than three minutes through TI’s IoT cloud ecosystem including IBM’s Bluemix IoT Foundation.
Available TI reference designs include 3D print files of the SensorTag enclosures, that allow reuse of the SensorTags as a starting point for designs. A Wifi demo-version of the SensorTag will be introduced soon.
"Key to helping customers derive value from the internet of things is simplifying the connection of IoT devices to business applications," said Jack Desjardins, VP for ecosystem alliances at IBM. “The new SimpleLink SensorTag from TI with their rapid connection to IBM Bluemix and IoT Foundation is a big step forward in enabling this and allows customers to rapidly drive business benefits from IoT projects.”
The kits come with ready-to-use protocol stacks, free Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE) licence, online training and round-the-clock online TI E2E community support. In addition, the company’s cloud-based software development tools provide instant access to examples, documentation, software and even an IDE all from the web.
There will be two different development kit versions. The Wifi-only version will allow users to demo the CC3200 MCU. Further details and availability information will be coming soon. The multi-standard SensorTag, based on the same MCU, supports development for Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPan and Zigbee. This allows developers to change between different 2.4GHz technologies by loading software images directly over the air. When used as a Zigbee and 6LoWPan device, it connects to the cloud through a Beaglebone Black gateway. For Bluetooth Smart development, it connects to the cloud via a smartphone.
Both versions come with ten integrated low-power sensors including the OPT3001 precision ambient light sensor, HDC1000 integrated humidity and temperature sensor and TMP007 contactless IR thermopile sensor. Additional sensors include a nine-axis motion sensor (gyroscope, compass and accelerometer), altimeter and pressure sensor, digital microphone, and magnet sensor.
DevPack plug-in modules include one based on the TM4C1294 MCU to add debug capabilities. Users can plug it into the expansion header and debug the SensorTag with Code Composer Studio IDE, TI Cloud Tools or IAR’s embedded workbench for ARM. The Display Watch DevPack adds a 3.4cm low-power graphical display. It is designed for development of smartwatches, refrigerator displays and any other application that need a remote display.
The LED Audio DevPack consists of four high-power multi-colour LEDs and a 4W audio amplifier powered by a micro-USB for home automation and smart lighting applications.
If developers cannot find a specific DevPack to fit their needs, they can create their own by downloading the Build Your Own DevPack guide.