Samsung is making a heavy push into the Internet of Things with its new Artik platform. Artik includes a range of circuit boards and software to help connect objects to phones, tablets, PCs, and more.
Three tiny processors are the heart of Artik. They come in small, medium, and large sizes. Artik 1, for example, measures 12mm by 12mm, includes two cores at 250MHz, 1MB of RAM, 4MB of Flash, Bluetooth Low Energy, and a 9-axis motion sensor. The Artik 5 and Artik 10 boards boost processor speeds and memory components, as well as add WiFi, Zigbee, and hardware-based video codecs. The 1 is meant for small, mobile devices while the 10 is meant for equipment such as media hubs.
In addition to the chips, Samsung has offered a developer kit it describes as an alpha. Developers will need to sign in with their Samsung account in order to download the alpha SDK. Samsung said it is limiting participation to start, but will expand availability over time.
Developers lucky enough to score access to the alpha SDK will have access to hardware and technical support, plenty of documentation, and a direct line to Samsung's product team for assistance. The web site offers a small amount of detail, including an illustrated how-to-get-started guide. Samsung said APIs are part of the package, but didn't provide any specific details on what the APIs are capable of doing.
"Our goals in building Artik were to minimize fragmentation and enable faster adoption of IoT," explained Samsung. "The Internet of Things is supposed to integrate our devices and experiences, yet it's currently hampered by disconnected apps and ecosystems. Artik provides an end-to-end solution for making interconnected applications, from low-power wearables to high-end smart homes."
Samsung hopes consumer electronics makers will adopt Artik to help connect their gear. Samsung plans to eat its own dogfood, however, and will adopt Artik across its own range of television sets, home theater equipment, smartphones, tablets, appliances, and other devices. It has scored several partners at launch, including MediumOne, Temboo, and SmartThings.
"Artik provides a platform for developers who simply want to focus on building and testing new ideas for IoT," continued Samsung. "Rather than spend your time writing low-level libraries, we invite you to use our development tools and open APIs to bring wearable tech, smart devices, and hubs to market more quickly, cheaply and easily."
Samsung isn't playing in this space alone. Qualcomm and Intel already have IoT platforms that include small processors available to gear makers. Apple's HomeKit doesn't have its own hardware component, but Apple's software tools are robust. Samsung's advantage over Qualcomm and Intel is that it has its own consumer devices into which it can port Artik.
Samsung will stop accepting applications for the alpha SDK on May 31, so act quickly.