“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.


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.

DJI’s First Drone Arena in Tokyo to Open This Saturday

Consumer drone giant DJI will open its first Japanese drone arena in the city of Tokyo this Saturday, providing a space for both hardened professionals and curious newcomers to hone their flying skills.

The arena, which covers an area of 535 square metres, will not only include a large flying area complete with obstacles, but also offer a store where visitors can purchase the latest DJI drones and a technical support area where drone owners can get help with quadcopter issues.

The hope is that the arena will allow those who are curious about the technology but currently lack the space to try it out to get involved.

“As interest around our aerial technology continues to grow, the DJI Arena concept is a new way for us to engage not just hobbyists but also those considering this technology for their work or just for the thrill of flying,” said Moon Tae-Hyun, DJI’s director of brand management and operations.

“Having the opportunity to get behind the remote controller and trying out the technology first hand can enrich the customer experience. When people understand how it works or how easy it is to fly, they will discover what this technology can do for them and see a whole new world of possibilities.”

Images courtesy of DJI

In addition to its general sessions, which will allow members of the public to drop by and try their hand at flying drones, the arena will also offer private hire, including corporate events. For some companies, then, drone flying could become the new golf.

There will also be regular events, allowing pros to compete against one another, and drone training, in the form of DJI’s New Pilot Experience Program, for newcomers.

The arena has been launched in partnership with Japan Circuit, a developer of connected technologies, including drones.

“We are extremely excited to partner with DJI to launch the first DJI Arena in Japan,” said Tetsuhiro Sakai, CEO of Japan Circuit.

“Whether you are a skilled drone pilot or someone looking for their first drone, we welcome everyone to come and learn, experience it for themselves, and have fun. The new DJI Arena will not only serve as a gathering place for drone enthusiasts but also help us reach new customers and anyone interested in learning about this incredible technology.”

The arena is the second of its kind to be launched by DJI, with the first located in Yongin, South Korea, and detailed in the video above. .

Having opened in 2016, the area has attracted visitors from around the world, demonstrating serious demand for this type of entertainment space.

If the Tokyo launch goes well, it’s likely DJI will look at rolling out its arena concept to other cities, perhaps even bringing the model to the US and Europe.

For now, however, those who are interested can book time at the Tokyo arena here.

Commercial Human Spaceflight Advances Prompt Calls for Space Safety Institute

Commercial human spaceflight has been a long-held dream, but now it is finally poised to become a reality. Companies including Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are inching ever closer to taking private citizens into space, and there are serious plans for spaceports in several parts of the world, including Hawaii, the US, and Scotland, the UK.

But while the industry is advancing, the legal side of this fledgling commercial space industry remains underdeveloped, leading to calls for the development of an organisation to establish a framework for the safe operation of spaceports for human commercial spaceflights.

Writing in the journal New Space, Mclee Kerolle, from the United States International Institute of Space Law in Paris, France, has proposed the establishment of a Space Safety Institute recognised by the US congress and the United Nations.

This institute would “develop, enforce and adopt standards of excellence”, allowing the industry to develop while protecting it from liability and insurance risks.

“Currently, no international regulatory body exists to regulate the operation of spaceports,” he wrote. “This is unfortunate because while the advent of commercial human spaceflight industry is imminent, a majority of the focus from the legal community will be on regulating spaceflights and space access vehicles.

“However, the regulation of spaceports should be viewed in the same light as the rest of the commercial human spaceflight industry.”

The article focuses particularly on the establishment of a spaceport at the Kona International Airport in Keahole, Hawaii. At present, the spaceport’s development is subject to regulation by the Federal Aviation Authority, however there are aspects to spaceport development that do not apply to conventional aviation operations.

A spacesuit design for commercial flights developed by SpaceX. Featured image: SpaceX’s proposed spaceport for its conceptual interplanetary transport system. All images courtesy of SpaceX

The institute would be designed to first and foremost ensure safety within the industry, so it would be important, according to Kerolle, to ensure it was made up of individuals with expertise in the field, rather than bureaucrats.

“To make sure that this flexibility is inherent in a Space Safety Institute, the organization should be composed of individuals within the industry as opposed to government officials who are not familiar with the commercial human spaceflight industry,” he wrote.

“As a result, this should protect the commercial human spaceflight industry to some liability exposure, as well as promote growth in the industry to ensure the industry’s survival.”