Move over Raspberry Pi! Intel unveil Edison – a whole computer the size of an SD card

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It’s all happening at CES this week. Intel have made waves this week by unveiling the Intel Edison, which looks like an SD card – and is the same size as one – but is in fact a fully functioning computer. The Lilliputian government have already put in a big order.

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Intel claim that the on-board processor is a full “Pentium class” PC, and is capable of running Linux on its tiny Quark processor. There’s also built in bluetooth and wifi – making the Edison perfectly positioned for the emerging “wearable technology” scene.

The Edison itself is obviously much smaller than the Raspberry Pi, perhaps its closest competitor – but given the more diminutive form and built in connectivity, it’ll probably command a higher price point.

Interestingly, Intel will have an app store for apps made for Edison, and in their CES presentation showed off a couple of examples: a baby monitor that picked up metrics from sensors on a toy frog and displayed a number representing how happy it was on the side of a mug. There was also a milk warmer, which would start, umm, warming the milk when the baby started crying. Very clever indeed.

What’s exciting about such a small device is that there’s so many possibilities. Because it can run Linux and has connectivity options, it means that developers are already half way there, and all they have to do is write code they’ll be familiar with based on common standards. Intel aren’t blind to this either – they’ve announced a $500,000 prize for the best wearable tech development using the Edison.

So expect to see the Edison all over the place soon – if not obviously all over the place, it’ll certainly be embedded in many different devices.

James O’Malley
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