Intel developer kit focuses on IoT market

Intel has released a developer kit so that programmers can write and deploy JavaScript applications for "Internet of things" and sensor devices.

The APIs (application programming interfaces) in the XDK IoT Edition software development kit will help collect sensor information and link devices to Web services. Developers can also write companion HTML5 applications for mobile devices and PCs that work in conjunction with IoT apps to remotely control devices.

Intel is looking to put its chips in power-constrained devices, and IoT represents a growth opportunity for the chip maker. Past estimates have pegged the number of IoT devices to reach between 30 billion and 50 billion by 2020.

Developers can test IoT applications on Intel's Edison or Galileo developer boards before deployment, Intel said. The boards are based on Intel's low-power Quark processor and also support scripts written with the popular Arduino hardware and SDK.

The developer kit is an offshoot of Intel's XDK, a cross-platform programming tool for mobile devices, PCs and embedded devices. The XDK programming tool supports more APIs and has similar features for remote control of devices through HTML5 applications. For example, developers can write applications so users can control robots through mobile devices.

The IoT variant of the SDK could also be used for wearables, which are equipped with sensors to gather information. Intel considers wearables a key part of the IoT market and last month showed clothing, helmets, watches and other electronics with sensors. Some of the wearables were developed using the Edison board.

Intel announced the XDK IoT Edition on the same day ARM announced an operating system called mbed for IoT at the TechCon conference in Santa Clara, California.

Microsoft's Visual Studio writes and debugs applications for low-power IoT devices. The company has also slimmed down Windows 8 to work on Intel's Galileo board.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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