Wearable technology is making an impact in people's lives, and that phenomenon will continue, likely in a bigger way than we currently realize. In one small example, I wore my FitBit device while attending a tradeshow this week, curious to see how far I walked in a typical day on the floor. In case you're wondering, it was about 6.4 miles. That's pretty far.
According to NPD DisplaySearch, the market for wearable devices could be as high as 48 million units in 2014 and 91 million in 2015. To make the wearable experience better for the end-user, QuickLogic has developed a pair of gesture algorithms. One is "tap to wake" and the other is "rotate wrist to wake." The algorithms run on the company's S1 catalog CSSPs (customer-specific standard products) and ArcticLink 3 S1 sensor hub platforms.
The real advantage of these algorithms is the extra battery life that they deliver. They enable wearable devices to respond to user movements and gestures without waking up the higher power host apps processor or microcontroller.
At the same time, QuickLogic is offering a sensor hub for wearable applications, which can potentially speed time-to-market for OEMs. A
wearable sensor hub site provides more info.
These algorithms, and others like them, are important. Hardware manufacturers are eventually going to reach their limit in terms of low power consumption, and software is going to have to enable these devices to stay within power budget.
Rich, my wife started wearing one when she started training for a recent cancer walk. Her friend's husband runs a running shoe store, so they had them. At a recent get together I noticed that the husband was wearing one as well, and as we sat at the bar, everyone with their hands toward the bar it was interesting since they all had the same device on the same wrist. I was the odd man out (as usual). I guess I will be wearing one soon.
One way to integrate these devices is to hook them to a cell phone. Low power near field communication technologies make this possible. Powerful smart phone are a perfect integration platform for many personal sensors, both fitness and medical.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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