“Internet of things in a box” hoping to make developers’ lives a whole lot easier

Developers looking to capitalise on the booming internet of things market are about to be given a helping hand by Imagination Technologies’ new Creator Ci40 development kit, dubbed: “the easiest way to build an IoT device.”

The Creator Ci40 IoT kit includes the hardware building blocks needed to quickly prototype a wireless IoT system from scratch, and the open source software, network and cloud connectivity capability required to securely connect and authenticate devices to the cloud.

Paul Evans, director of business development for Creator, explains that the motivation behind developing Creator lay in the fact that they couldn’t find this kind of product on the market when they were looking to develop IoT devices. “Every time we did an IoT project we couldn’t quite find the hardware or software,” he said.

Creator-Ci40-Step-3

Imagination Technologies imagines the possible uses for the development board to include many different sectors and industries.

In fields such as healthcare, agriculture and transport, the Creator Ci40 IoT kit will allow developers to build a huge range of connected products. Developers who want to quickly prototype an IoT platform and then ramp it up for volume production will also be well served by “IoT in a box” nature of the package.

Estimates indicate that 6.4 billion connected things will be used across the globe in 2016. That represents a 30% increase from 2015, according to IT research firm Gartner, Inc. The development board will be aimed at anyone looking to capitalise on this emerging market.

To create a functional working prototype from the Creator Ci40 IoT development board, the IoT kit comes complete with Click expansion and companion boards.

These can be added to further with additional Click boards from supplier MikroElectronica, which offers development tools in areas such as heart rate monitoring, fire detection and detecting alcohol consumption.

Images courtesy of Imagination Technologies

Images courtesy of Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies has chosen to launch the Creator development kit as part of a Kickstarter campaign that launches today. Similar to many Kickstarter projects, the company still has a number of important challenges that they need to solve before the final version of the Creator Ci40 IoT kit is ready to ship to backers.

“One of the things we’re looking for on the Kickstarter is feedback,” said Evans.

The kit is expected to be available in March or April 2016, while the Creator Ci40 developer board is due to be ready in January 2016.

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The UK government is launching a fintech competition to help renters get on the property ladder

The UK government is offering £2 million to fintech developers who come up with a tool that lets renters record and share their payment data.

The Rent Recognition Challenge, which was first announced as part of the chancellors’ autumn budget, will task developers with finding a way to record payment data from Britain’s 11 million renters in a bid to improve their credit scores and ultimately help them to get a mortgage.

“Most lenders and Credit Reference Agencies are unable to take rental data into account, because they don’t have access to it.

“The Rent Recognition Challenge will challenge firms to develop an innovative solution to this problem and help to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation,” said the economic secretary to HM Treasury, Stephen Barclay.

Economic secretary to HM Treasury, Stephen Barclay. Image courtesy of Chris McAndrew

The competition will provide an initial round of grant funding to six promising proposals to help turn their ideas into workable products.

A panel of leading figures from the Fintech sector will then whittle the six down to just a handful of teams who will receive further funding and support to bring their ideas to market.

“People’s monthly rent is often their biggest expense, so it makes sense for it to be recognised when applying for a mortgage. Without a good credit score, getting a mortgage can be a real struggle.”

Image courtesy of Jeff Djevdet

The government’s attempt to help more people out of private renting arrangements and into home ownership comes after Scottish Widows published a report that warned tomorrow’s pensioners will have to find huge amounts of money to pay ever-escalating rents to private landlords.

Scottish Widows projected one in eight retirees will be renting by 2032, which works out to three times the number renting today. It also said there is a £43bn gap between the income and savings people have now and what the rent bill will be in retirement.

Speaking to the Guardian, Dan Wilson Craw of campaign group Generation Rent said: “The common perception is that retirees either own their home outright or have a council tenancy, so the government will be in for a nasty shock as more of us retire and continue to rent from a private landlord.

“Many renters relying on pensions will qualify for housing benefit which will put greater strain on the public finances.”

The Rent Recognition Challenge will open to applications early in the New Year, and development will conclude in October 2018.