These five MIPS-based devices from China are simply amazing
I asked my colleagues based in our offices in China to tell me about their favorite MIPS-based devices. From wearables to connected speakers and robots, these are five of the gadgets they recommended, presented in no particular order.
CoWatch is the world’s first smartwatch to integrate Amazon’s Alexa voice-recognition services for the smart home. The device features a design that blends style and accessibility with high-end specifications, including a dual-core MIPS CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of flash storage (that’s double what most competitors currently offer).
CoWatch presents users with a very intuitive interface developed by Cronologics, a software start-up that has created an Android-based operating system optimized for the smartwatch experience.
Danny Dong is the co-founder and CEO of iMCO, the company that designed the CoWatch. A veteran of the semiconductor industry, Danny is an entrepreneur who wants to deliver the most sophisticated wearable experience on the market.
Tomoon T-RIPPLE smartwatch
I had the opportunity to test Tomoon’s T-FIRE smartwatch when it was first introduced two years ago and found it included some very innovative features, including an always-on e-ink display.
The Chinese company is back with Tomoon T-RIPPLE, a smartwatch with an updated design that is significantly different from the T-FIRE. Apart from the obvious fact that it is the first to utilize a round display, the new T-RIPPLE represents a shift towards fashion over fitness-oriented functionality. The internals include a MIPS-based Ingenic M200 dual-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz. The chipset is coupled with 512 MB of RAM plus 4 GB of onboard storage.
Tomoon was founded by Wang Wei in 2013 and became famous for developing the world’s first curved e-ink smartwatch – a very popular device that quickly sold out on many popular Chinese e-commerce sites.
DingDong LLSS-P001 and JBL Go Smart connected speakers
Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has entered the booming connected audio market by releasing a portable, voice-controlled device called the DingDong smart speaker. DingDong can deliver news and weather updates and access a library of around three million songs and four million hours of audio content from third-party sources.
Users can also set up alarms and manage their calendars simply by using voice commands. In addition, JD.com has partnered with Harman to create a range of smart wireless Bluetooth speakers called JBL Go. These connected audio products feature flawless sound quality and support voice recognition.
Both the DingDong and the JBL Go speakers are powered by a MIPS-based Ingenic X1000 processor, a chipset designed for general purpose IoT and embedded computing. The SoC integrates a high-quality audio codec and an always-on, low-power voice recognition engine that uses hardware filters for voice commands.
JD.com or Jingdong Mall is one of the world’s largest Chinese e-commerce companies; headquartered in Beijing, it was founded by Liu Qiangdong (Richard Liu) in July 1998.
While other companies are currently building robots for industrial applications, a group of developers from China called Makeblock are using machines for a completely different purpose: teaching kids to code. Their latest creation is Codeybot, a robot that can dance, sing and shoot lasers beams.
The two-wheel robot runs OpenWrt on a MIPS-based MediaTek MT7688 chipset. The robot’s hardware also includes 64MB of RAM and 1GB of flash memory used primarily for storing audio files. Kids can use the mBlockly app to control the robot as well as learn programming principles such as algorithm design, command sequences and control flow, conditionals, loops, sensors, and events.
Makeblock was founded by Jasen Wang, a maker and open source programmer who has a passion for robotics and STEM education.