Global communications giant Broadcom announced today that it has introduced a WiFi framework for embedded devices in a bid to capitalise on the emerging wearable tech market.
Specifically, Broadcom has integrated its existing WICED (Wireless Internet for Connected Devices) platform with WiFi Direct to create WICED Direct.
Broadcom said WICED Direct would allow two devices to communicate with each other via WiFi without an access point or computer, making it possible to transfer information between the device and a smarpthone.
The firm claimed this would enable OEMs to develop wearable products that communicate seamlessly to the cloud via smart mobile devices.
"The value of a wearable device lies in its ability to connect to a smartphone or the internet with minimal impact on battery life," said Rahul Patel, Broadcom VP of marketing for wireless connectivity. "As the market gains momentum, Broadcom is actively widening business opportunities in this growing space by offering the breadth of IP and customised components that enable creative new smart wearable devices to be connected."
Smartwatches are the most obvious wearable devices being introduced to the market with Apple, Intel, and Samsung said to be working on such products and others such as Sony already offering their own versions.
However, as Broadcom pointed out, the overall picture is significantly larger and there are a number of more focused smart device products in the health sector beginning to gain traction — including fitness bracelets, blood pressure monitors, and glucometers.
Juniper Research projects nearly 15 million wearable smart devices will be sold this year, and nearly 70 million by 2017.