“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.

US wants to use the Moon as a petrol station

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has said that the Trump administration aims to turn the Moon into a petrol station, which will allow for the exploration of deeper parts of the solar system. According to Ross, explorers would use ice from the moon's craters to refuel on the way to other destinations.

SpaceX’s first broadband satellites are now in space

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed the company's first broadband satellites – named Tintin A and Tintin B – have been deployed and are now "communicating to Earth stations". The satellites are being used to test SpaceX's future Starlink broadband service, which aims to provide gigabit broadband worldwide.

Source: Ars Technica

Nissan to trial self-driving taxis in Japan

Nissan and Japanese tech giant DeNA have announced field tests of Easy Ride, the self-driving taxi service they developed together, will begin on March 5 in Yokohama, Japan. The cars will take passengers along a 4.5km route between the Yokohama World Porters shopping centre and Nissan’s corporate complex.

Source: Tech Crunch

Elon Musk quits AI ethics group

Elon Musk has always been quick to urge caution when it comes to AI, but now he has quit the board of the research group he co-founded to look into the tech's ethics. OpenAI said the decision had been taken to avoid any conflict of interest as Mr Musk's electric car company, Tesla, became "more focused on AI".

Source: BBC

Beef companies file petition against lab-grown meat startups

The US beef industry is fighting back against tech startups who are creating meat in a lab using animal cells. The US Cattlemen’s Association has filed a petition arguing that lab-grown meat startups should not be able to call their products "meat," since they do not come from slaughtered animals.

Millions of dollars in Ethereum are vulnerable to hackers

Researchers claim that having analysed almost one million smart contracts stored on the Ethereum blockchain, 34,200 are "critically vulnerable". A sample of roughly 3,000 vulnerable contracts that the team verified could be exploited to steal roughly $6 million worth of Ether, Ethereum’s in-house cryptocurrency.

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Stronger in old age: Stem cell research paves way for muscle-building medication

It could in the future be possible to take medication that will allow you to build muscle, even when you are in old age.

This is due to the findings of research at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, which found that large, and wholly unexpected, amounts of mutations in muscle stem cells blocks their ability to regenerate cells.

“What is most surprising is the high number of mutations. We have seen how a healthy 70-year-old has accumulated more than 1,000 mutations in each stem cell in the muscle, and that these mutations are not random but there are certain regions that are better protected,” said Maria Eriksson, professor at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet.

With this knowledge, researchers could develop therapies that would encourage such regeneration, and so allow older people to rebuild lost muscle.

“We can demonstrate that this protection diminishes the older you become, indicating an impairment in the cell’s capacity to repair their DNA. And this is something we should be able to influence with new drugs,” explained Eriksson.

The landmark research, which is published today in the journal Nature Communications, involved the use of single stem cells, which were cultivated to provide enough DNA for whole genome sequencing – a medical first for this part of the body.

“We achieved this in the skeletal muscle tissue, which is absolutely unique. We have also found that there is very little overlap of mutations, despite the cells being located close to each other, representing an extremely complex mutational burden,” said study first author Irene Franco, a postdoc in Eriksson’s research group.

While a significant step, the research is now being expanded to look at whether exercise affects the number of mutations – a potentially vital factor in understand why and how these mutations occur.

“We aim to discover whether it is possible to individually influence the burden of mutations. Our results may be beneficial for the development of exercise programmes, particularly those designed for an ageing population,” said Eriksson.

The research is one of a host of projects being conducted across the world that have potential impacts on ageing, an area that was long ignored by much of the scientific community, but is now garnering increased support.

If many – or even a fair minority – of these findings eventually become the basis of therapeutics, it could be transformative for old age in the future, allowing people to remain healthier for far later in life and potentially even leading to longer life expectancies.