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Focus on no wires, no batteries at Embedded Technology 2013

Posted: 26 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IoT? wearable computing? embedded? sensors?

Practically all the awkward-looking wearable "wrist" devices (including those recently launched by Samsung, Sony, and others) remain "solutions to nothing," as Richard Windsor at Radio Free Mobile put it recently. Casio's G-Shock appears to be the only exception. It's a watch that looks like a watch, sporting Bluetooth Low Energy connections to iPhones and Android phones. It's been enjoying brisk sales in Japan.

While the market still remains completely unready for wearables, it's always ready for a good watch.

Using Bluetooth Low Energy, Casio's G-Shock sends an alert to a user upon the arrival of e-mail. The wristwatch also functions as a remote control for the user's smartphone.

Focus on no wires, no batteries at Embedded Technology 2013

Lapis in, Nordic out in G-Shock

Lapis Semiconductor, now a part of Japan's Rohm, has developed an extremely low power Bluetooth Low Energy device (which consumes less than 10 mA for sending or receiving data). Casio recently swapped a Bluetooth Low Energy chip by Nordic Semiconductor who had the initial design win with Lapis' device for new G-Shock models.

Embedded M2M module

NEC showed off an embedded M2M module to connect the real world and the cloud. Using a vibration energy harvesting device, the M2M module needs no power source to turn on the switch. The photo shows a pair of shoes embedded with a vibration energy harvesting device (shown front). When, for example, a senior citizen living alone wears the shoes and walks around, the shoes automatically lets a caregiver know where he is via a smartphone.

Check your golf swing

This being Japan, golf gets top priority. Dreamforest, headed by a former Sony executive (who was responsible for Sony's Cli PDA business), developed a small module to be attached to a golf club.

Integrated with STMicroelectronics' MEMS sensors (gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer) and ARM-based STM32 microcontroller, the module can track the orientation, linear acceleration and angular velocity of a golf club. By fusing data from these sensors, the 3-D motion tracking golf club can now expose your golf swing visually, by sending the data wirelessly and displaying it on iPhone or iPad.

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