MediaTek, a firm best known for its smartphone and tablet processors, including several octa-core models, has launched the MediaTek Labs initiative. It’s here where MediaTek wants to create the next generation of mobile gadgets, so it doesn’t miss out on two of tech’s biggest current trends — wearables and the Internet of Things. The idea is to provide developers and engineers with the tools to build new devices and write new software, all using MediaTek’s specially created development kits.
The interesting part is, MediaTek Labs won’t be a private club only for major industry players, it’s designed to be used and enjoyed by both professionals and amateurs, so it will welcome everyone from students to CEOs. According to the Labs’ vice president, MediaTek has big plans for the Lab, and hopes the resulting projects will “drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions.”
Naturally, MediaTek is promoting its own hardware in the Labs. The MT2502 Aster chip is the world’s smallest commercial system-on-a-chip, and along with MediaTek’s own custom Wi-Fi and GPS chips, is ideal for use in wearable gadgets. The Aster chip can also be used with MediaTek’s LinkIt operating system, allowing engineers to quickly bring their creations to life.
MediaTek emphasizes the growing wearable market on the Labs website, and lists everything from basic health and fitness trackers to smart watches as possible uses for the Aster chip and LinkIt. Although MediaTek highlights its use in wearables, the Aster/LinkIt combination will be just at home on other connected devices.
Launched earlier this year, the Aster chip made its debut inside the Omate X smartwatch, launched at the end of August. The watch also runs the LinkIt operating system, and is expected to last up to a week on a single battery charge, depending on usage.