First up, a prototype of ‘smart glasses’ that have been developed by Australian neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Hicks, Department of Clinical Neurology at Oxford University, and his team, to help people with visual impairment regain their independence. If all goes according to plan they will be commercially available by 2014.
Hicks and his team have used a Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP 3530 system-on-a-chip for the original prototype, featuring an ARM Cortex™--A8 CPU, built on a Beagleboard.
In the arena of aerodynamic design, the ARM Powered Smartbird from Festo is leading the way. Built on Texas Instruments’ Stellaris LM3S811, incorporating a high-performance ARM Cortex™-M3 v7M architecture optimized for small-footprint embedded applications, the Smartbird has succeeded in deciphering the flight of birds.
The bionic bird, inspired by the herring gull, has wings that beat up and down and can twist at specific angles. This is made possible via an active artiiculated torsional drive unit and control system. The minimal use of materials and extremely lightweight construction of the smartbird has been transferred to the design of hybrid design technology.
In the sports arena Zeal Optics has come up with the first direct-to-eye communication display in ski goggles, allowing users to track their performance on the slopes.
Transcend GPS goggles, powered by an ARM9 processor, feature advanced optics and head mounted display technology integrated into the goggle itself. Weighing in at 257 grams, the goggles feature vertical odometer technology and provide real-time access to performance statistics including speed, altitude, temperature and time. They also include a USB port to download data and analyse it on a computer.
The graphics have been designed to be non-obtrusive for front and peripheral vision, making it an ideal solution for use in fast-paced, alpine environments.
ARM is also helping future generations understand the power of technology. The ARM powered Vinci Tablet, designed by inventor Dr. Dan D Yang, has been created for very small children, empowering them with the skill set they will need in the digital world.
Built on an ARM Cortex-A8, the Vinci touch screen learning platform for toddlers and infants has been designed to stimulate their curiosity and provide a fun tool to help them learn about the wider world. The tablet includes custom designed games and content for young children to explore with their parents.
The design statement of the ARM Powered Lounge must go to the Alessi Tab, designed by Alessi’s Stefano Giovannoni as a versatile domestic communications tool for the home.
A partnership between Alessi and Promelit, the Alessi Tab is built around a 720 Mhz ARM11. It features 10.1” HD auto-rotation touch screen with gravitational sensor which can be used in a variety of positions and is about as sleek as it gets when it comes to good looks.
TechCon attendees – what were your favorite ARM Powered Products?
More coverage of ARM TechCon:
- ARM Partner Collaboration in Full Force at Chip Design Day, ARM TechCon 2011
- ARM Software: Oracle’s Java, Embedded SW Store with Avnet, Mentor & XILINX
- Breadth of ARM Ecosystem Demonstrated at Software and Systems Design Day
- ARM Embedded Success: Freescale, NXP, TI, ST & Record Breaking Rubik’s Cube
- ARM TechCon: ARM CTO Announces ARMv8, UN, Rubik’s Cube & Growth
Jan Howells, editor IQ Magazine and IQ Online, ARM, is a gadget queen. Jan tracks the globe for innovative and exciting ARM powered products to cover and feature in IQ magazine or IQ Online. Jan was key in pulling together devices and video footage for the ARM Powered Showcase at this year’s Techcon. She has an in-depth knowledge of the home and lifestyle consumer technology market and a special interest in green, sustainable computing. She holds a postgraduate degree in journalism/communications.
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