ARM launched the ARM® mbed IoT Starter Kit – Ethernet Edition to channel data from Internet-connected devices directly into IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform. The combination of a secure sensor environment by ARM with cloud-based analytics, mobile and application resources from IBM will allow fast prototyping of new smart products and unique value-added services. The first products developed using the kit are expected to enter the market in 2015.

“Securely embedding intelligence and connectivity into devices from the outset will create cloud-connected products that are far more capable than today,” said Krisztian Flautner, general manager, IoT business, ARM. “Smart cities, businesses and homes capable of sharing rich information about their surroundings will be critical in unlocking the potential of IoT. The ARM IoT Starter Kit will accelerate the availability of connected devices by making product and service prototyping faster and easier.”

The IoT Starter Kit consists of an ARM mbed-enabled development board from Freescale, powered by an ARM Cortex®-M4 based processor, together with a sensor IO application shield. Future versions of the kit will run the new ARM mbed OS and utilize ARM mbed Device Server software to deliver a wider range of efficient security, communication and device management features. Building on the momentum of recent announcements such as IBM’s IoT Foundation and the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform, ARM and IBM will continue to work together on interoperable, open, secure and scalable connectivity between devices and the cloud.

“The Internet of Things is about bringing the physical and digital worlds closer together, to allow businesses to better understand and interact with what is happening around them,” said Meg Divitto, vice president for IoT, IBM. “In order to make this work for businesses, it needs to be simple to connect physical devices into the cloud, and to build applications and insights around them. IBM Bluemix and the new ARM mbed starter kit are designed to substantially enhance that effort.”

The IoT Starter Kit is being launched to coincide with the opening of Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany. Prototypes have been given to early adopters including the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). STFC is engaged in broad research in areas such as space science, the environment, medicine and computing, and is using several kits to create a big data demonstrator project.

“The ARM mbed Starter Kit will provide us with a great starting point for projects that require instrumentation of any device,” said David Moss, high performance computing, big data and visualisations solutions manager, STFC Hartree Centre. “ We anticipate that the capabilities provided by the kit and its connection to the IBM IoT Foundation will help us to realise rapid business value during the development and production phases of our work.”

Cambridge Consultants, a production development and technology consultancy business working with a range of companies from leading blue chips to startups is also experimenting with the kit.

“We are seeing the democratisation of technology and the ARM IoT Starter Kit is the perfect example of a foundation that can empower design by any individual or company,” said Tim Murdoch, director of digital services, Cambridge Consultants. “Coupled with the link into IBM’s cloud platform we now have a fast route for makers to take any product to market and develop services around it quicker and more cost-effectively than ever before.”

Today’s announcement marks a significant collaboration between ARM and IBM. The jointly developed Starter Kit offers Ethernet connectivity, with possible future versions also being looked at for cellular, wi-fi and Thread™. ARM is talking to leading global electronics distributors to package and market the Starter Kit.

“From the edge node through the network to the cloud, Freescale technology is powering emerging IoT applications with secure, embedded processing solutions for the Internet of Tomorrow,” said Freescale’s John Dixon, Director of Marketing for Freescale. “We are excited to be part of the ARM mbed IoT Starter Kit with our Freescale FRDM-K64F Freedom development platform. This partnership enables those developing IoT applications to add intelligence to everyday items and quickly see their designs come to life.”