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Fujitsu delivers solar-powered Bluetooth LE beacon

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth beacon? internet of things?

Fujitsu Laboratories has announced a Bluetooth LE beacon that is 2.5mm thick, weighs only 3g and does not need battery replacement or maintenance.

The Fujitsu beacon is flexible and can be wrapped around round objects, corners and curves and is powered by an integrated solar cell.

Beacons offered by competing brands that do not require battery replacement need power-supply components such as power-management ICs and secondary batteries as control circuits. These components, which are relatively thick and occupy a large area, make the beacons themselves rigid and large, limiting locations to which they can be attached, explained the researchers in a press release.

Such beacons may be attached to fluorescent bulbs in a ceiling, or to the surface of an LED light, hence doubling lights as information points, for guidance or other purposes, e.g. installing them, together with sensors, to detect available space in parking lots.

For this flexible autonomous beacon, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed power-control technology that temporarily deactivates the power monitor once it has detected that enough energy has been accumulated. The saved power makes it possible to supply the power needed to activate the wireless-communications module using a small storage element connected to a solar cell, only one-ninth the size of those used with previous technologies. Reducing the power consumed just before starting communications can reduce voltage fluctuations when power is being used, obviating the need for a power-management IC.

Fujitsu is currently conducting field testing to establish the beacon's reliability and continuous operation, hoping to have a commercial product by 2016.

- Julien Happich
??EE Times Europe





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