The SoC is the size of a shirt button but includes everything required to provide compute power for wearable devices. The Curie module is designed to enable even inexperienced makers of wearable tech to make smart products.
Curie is equipped with a 32-bit Intel Quark SoC with 384kB of flash memory and 80kB SRAM. It comes in an easy-to-integrate package with a six-axis combo accelerometer and gyroscope sensor to enable movement tracking and gesture recognition. Curie also features a digital sensor hub with a pattern-matching accelerator, battery charging circuits. The device uses Bluetooth low energy for communications.
Curie could, in fact, be built into performance-wear buttons. Intel has announced a partnership with Oakley so it is likely that some of their products will feature it. Some other interesting products are in development, such as Nixie, a wearable drone that can take pictures and video of you as you go about your activities and iWinks, a lucid dreaming aid that uses sleep monitoring and lights to help users become aware of dream states and improve their ability to control dreams.
The SOC is named for Marie Skłodowska-Curie, a Nobel Prize-winning pioneer in the study of radioactivity. Use of the name is somewhat ironic, given that Curie died of radiation poisoning: Some experts have expressed concern about the potential radiation exposure from these small devices, which are worn on or close to the body for long periods.
Intel's Mike Bell discusses Curie and wearable tech at CES 2015: