The "Internet of Things" drive, where every electronic device can communicate with each other in a mesh of digital linkery, continues to gather pace, with Texas Instruments unveiling a low-cost embedded WiFi chipset targeting everyday gadgets. The TI SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 is described as a "self-contained 802.11 network processor" that minimizes the effort involved at making consumer, home and office devices internet-aware.
TI's targets include TVs, fridges, HVAC systems, printers, energy meters and more, each of which could be persuaded to share their data in a way that might better allow users to monitor and control how technology plays a role in their lives. Although low-power WiFi chipsets are already available, the CC3000 is appealing because TI has done most of the hardware already: no display for setup is required, it can be integrated "within hours" to existing hardware, has minimal microprocessor demands and needs no specific OS.
As Texas Instruments' video below suggests, everything from bikes to dishwashers and industrial equipment could end up talking to you via your smartphone or tablet, or indeed to each other, using standard WiFi with the promise of whole-house range. It's a gleeful idea for home automation enthusiasts; now we just have to see which vendors pick up TI's chip.
A TI SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 FRAM evaluation module kit is available from today, priced at $199, for those keen to integrate the chipset into their hardware.