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Since the smartphone revolution is well underway, the question is what will be next? Two very likely candidates are wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT). The latter is the general terms used to talk about normal everyday objects, from coffee machines to door senors, that are Internet enabled and can share information about their current status and about the data they have collected.

To boost the development of IoT devices, ARM has just announced a new operating system that will run on these devices and enable them to connect to the rest of the world.

Called ‘mbed OS’, it is a free operating system for ARM’s Cortex-M range of microcontrollers. These processors are a little different from┬áthe processor that you find in your smartphone or tablet, they are ultra-low powered and are perfect for collecting sensor data, reacting to that data and communicating with other IoT objects.

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mbed OS will be free and mainly open source, however there will be a few binary only parts for things like security and various bits related to booting etc.

mbed is ARM’s community based prototyping and development platform that allows everyone, from teenage hackers to corporate device makers, to create projects on development boards made┬áby a range of silicon makers. These boards start at just a few bucks and are a great tool for learning, as well as prototyping real future products.

mbed OS supports a whole range of connectivity options including Bluetooth, cellular technologies (2G, 3G, 4G etc) and IPv4/IPv6.

For innovation to occur, the technology needs to be accessible to as many people as possible. mbed OS takes that idea to the next stage and opens up IoT to a whole new group of people.

Early development versions of mbed OS will go to ARM’s mbed partners during Q4 of this year and the first development boards will be available to buy during 2015.

ARM also released details of a server product which compliments mbed OS and allows service providers to create back-end applications to turn all the data coming from IoT devices into useful information. Unlike mbed OS, mbed Device Server won’t be free when used commercially, but it will be free for development.

mbed OS was announced during the keynote speech at ARM’s technical conference, which started today in Silicon Valley.

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