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Posts Tagged ‘wearables’

LG Watch Style and Watch Sport Smartwatches Launched with Android Wear 2.0

February 9th, 2017 2 comments

Google released an Android Wear 2.0 developer preview  last May at Google I/O 2016, with the new operating system now supporting standalone apps and keyboard and handwriting input method, featuring a new user interface with material design support, integrating Google Fit & Google Assistant support, and supporting many of the features available in Android 7.0 Nougat like data saver, and emojis. The first two devices running the latest Android Wear 2.0 will be LG Watch Style and Watch Sport smartwatches.

LG Watch Style (Left) and LG Watch Sport (Right) – Click to Enlarge

LG Android Wear 2.0 watches specifications can be found in the table below (Source: XDA)

LG Watch Style LG Watch Sport (W280A)
Display 1.2″ 360×360 P-OLED (Gorilla Glass 3) 1.38″ 480×480 P-OLED (Gorilla Glass 3)
Processor Snapdragon Wear 2100  @ 1.1GHz
RAM 512MB 768MB
Storage 4GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE, NFC, GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Gyro sensor Heart Rate Sensor (PPG), Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Barometer
Battery 240 mAh 430 mAh
Resistance IP67 IP68
Dimensions 42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79 mm 45.4 x 51.21 x 15.5 mm
Straps Leather, 18mm (User-replaceable) Fixed (Contains hardware?)
Price $249 $349

The watches support Music Streaming with Google Play Music, Android Pay via NFC (Watch Sport only), and Google Fit. A wireless charging dock will be included with the watch as shown in the picture below.

Click to Enlarge

The actual launch will be on February 10, when, if you’re based in the US, you’ll be able to buy  LG Watch Style at Best Buy and the Google Store, and the LG Watch Sport at AT&T, Verizon and the Google Store. These watches will be available at carriers and retailers across Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE and UK in the coming weeks. You’ll find a few more details on LG Watch Sport product page. LG Watch Style page is not up yet.

If you already own an Android Wear device, the following models with get updated to Android Wear 2.0:

  • ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3
  • Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Casio PRO TREK Smart
  • Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Wander
  • Huawei Watch
  • LG G Watch R, LG Watch Urbane & 2nd Edition LTE,
  • Michael Kors Access Smartwatches
  • Moto 360 2nd Gen, Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 Sport
  • New Balance RunIQ, Nixon Mission, Polar M600 and TAG Heuer Connected.

Omron Project Zero 2.0 is a Thinner Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor & Smartwatch

January 11th, 2017 No comments

Omron Project Zero BP6000 blood pressure monitor & smartwatch / fitness tracker was unveiled at CES 2016. The device was due to be released at the end of 2016 pending FDA approval, but the launch has now been delayed to spring 2017, and it will be sold under the name “HEARTVUE”. The company has however showcased a new version at CES 2017, for now just called Omron Project Zero 2.0 that has the same functions but is more compact and lightweight.

omron-project-zero-2-0-1-0

Omron Project Zero 2.0 (left) vs Project Zero BP6000 “Heartvue” (right)

The watch will also work with Omron Connect US mobile app, and can record accurate blood pressure, as well as the usual data you’d get from fitness trackers including activity (e.g. steps) and sleep, as well as smartphone notifications. Blood pressure measurement can be activated by the user by pressing a button and raising his/her wrist to the height of the chest. The goal is the same as the first generation watch: to make people who need it measure their blood pressure in a more convenient fashion. The second generation device looks much more like a standard wristwatch as the company reduced the size of the inflatable cuff.

blood-pressure-smartwatchThe new model will also have to go through FDA approval, a time consuming process, and Omron Healthcare intends to release the device in 2018 for around $300. More details about the new model may eventually show up on the company’s Generation Zero page.

Via Nikkei Technology

Mediatek MT2533D is a Bluetooth 4.2 SiP for Smart Headphones & Hands-Free Systems

January 9th, 2017 3 comments

There used to be a time when most products were based on a general purpose MCU or processor that you would interface to over chips like audio codecs, memory chips, flash storage, etc…, but in order to cut costs, application specific SoCs have become quite common over the year, so we’ve had mobile application processors for several years already, but more recently we got “wearables” SoCs and “Smart Home” SoCs, and Mediatek has launched MT2533D “headphone” SiP (System-in-Package) combining a Cortex-M4 MCU, 4MB PSRAM, an audio codec, and a dual mode Bluetooth subsystem.

mt2533-block-diagramMediatek MT2533D specifications:

  • MCU –  ARM Cortex-M4 @ up to 208MHz with 32KB L1 cache, FPU, MPU, AES 128/192/256 crypto engine and TRNG
  • Memory – 160kB SRAMs, 4MB pseudo SRAM
  • Storage – 4MB flash
  • Wireless Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 dual mode (classic and low energy)
  • Audio
    • AAC/SBC for Bluetooth audio
    • CVSD/mSBC for Bluetooth speech
    • PCM playback: 8-48kHz sample rate
    • PCM record: 8kHz and 16kHz sample rate
    • Dual-mic noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation
  • Display
    • Hardware 2D accelerator
    • DBI serial interface up to 320×320 @ 30 fps
    • 1-lane MIPI DSI interface up to 480×320 @ 30 fps
  • Camera – Mediatek camera serial interface up to VGA resolution @ 30 fps with YUV422 or RGB565
  • Other Peripherals
    • USB 2.0
    • 3x UARTs, 3x I2Cs
    • 6x PWMs, 4x SPI masters, SPI slave
    • I2S
    • SDIO v2.0
    • 5-channel ADC
    • Up to 38 GPIOs
  • Package – 172-ball TFBGA with 0.4mm pitch
  • Dimensions – 6.2 x 5.8 x 1.05 mm
  • Ambient temperature – -40°C to 85°C

There are interfaces for small displays and low resolution cameras, as well as a fair amount of I/Os, so it could certainly be use for audio applications outside of simple headphones, not matter how “smart” they may be.

One interesting part is that I did not get the news from MediaTek, but instead MediaTek Labs, Mediatek’s Internet of Things (IoT) developer program, and MT2533 is supported by the MediaTek LinkIt Development Platform for RTOS based on FreeRTOS. That means the SiP will be available to makers, and not only large companies, and development and debugging can be done in ARM Keil μVision, IAR Embedded Workbench and GCC like other LinkIt platforms. A development board or, like Mediatek calls it, an HDK (Hardware Development Kit), based on MT2533D could also be launched in the near future.

However Mediatek Labs only mentioned that MT2533D will be available to device makers in Q1 2017, and the developer documentation and tools will be released in Q3 2017, so we will have to wait for a while before being able to play with the platform. More details can be found on MT2533D product page.

Batteryless, Urine Powered Smart Diapers Notify You When It’s Time to Change Them

December 22nd, 2016 4 comments

One of the downside with current smart wearables is that most need to be recharged quite often, every day, week or month, and we’re still a long way of 10 year battery life offered by typical watches. I’m hopefully that eventually many devices won’t need to be recharged at all as we’ll have made improvements both in terms of power efficiency and energy harvesting using solar, body heat, vibrations and other techniques.

batteryless-urine-powered-smart-diaperTakakuni Douseki, professor at the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering of Ritsumeikan University, has been working on micro energy harvesting, and his latest “wireless involuntary urination sensor system” notifies the user when it’s time change the diapers without the need of any battery, instead using energy generated by urine and stored in a capacitor in order to transmit the data wirelessly.

The prototype is using a modified baby diaper with a 320x5mm activated carbon piece, and a 1.8mm aluminum electrode placed between the absorbent and a waterproof sheet. The amount of electricity generated increases with the amount of urine, with the current peaking at the time of “release” as shown in the chart below.

urine-power-chart

All that electricity is stored in a capacitor, and when the amount of urine reaches a threshold level (80 cm3), the system transmits an ID signal over a wireless connection up to 5 meters. The system may be commercialized later for example to care of patients suffering from incontinence. The research paper about urine energy harvesting and self-powered diaper can be found on IEEE website.

Via Nikkei Technology

Ambiq Micro Introduces Ultra-Low Power Apollo 2 Cortex-M4F MCU Consuming Less than 10 μA/MHz

December 18th, 2016 1 comment

Last year Ambiq Micro unveiled their Apollo Cortex-M4F MCU with Cortex M0+ energy efficiency thanks to operation in sub-threshold voltage (< 0.5 V), and the MCU is said found in Matrix Powerwatch, a fitness tracker powered by body heat that you never need to charge. The company has recently announced a new version of the micro-controller with Apollo 2 MCU with better maximum performance thanks to a higher maximum clock speed (48 MHz vs 24 MHz), and higher efficiency (10 μA/MHz vs 30 μA/MHz @ 3.3V).

apollo-2-mcu

Apollo 2 MCU key features and specifications:

  • Ultra-low supply current
    • <10 μA/MHz executing from flash at 3.3 V
    • <10 μA/MHz executing from RAM at 3.3 V
  • ARM Cortex-M4 Processor up to 48 MHz with FPU, MMU, wake-up interrupt controller with 32 interrupts
  • Ultra-low power memory
    • Up to 1 MB of flash memory for code/data
    • Up to 256 KB of low leakage RAM for code/data
    • 16kB 1 or 2-way Associative Cache
  • Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors
    • 14 bit, 15-channel, up to 1.2 MS/s ADC
    • Voltage comparator
    • Temperature sensor with +/-2ºC accuracy
  • Serial peripherals – 6x I2C/SPI master,1x I2C/SPI slave,2x UART, PDM for mono and stereo audio microphone
  • Clock sources
    • 32.768 kHz XTAL oscillator
    • Low frequency RC oscillator – 1.024 kHz
    • High frequency RC oscillator – 48 MHz
    • RTC based on Ambiq’s AM08X5/18X5 families
  • Wide operating range – 1.8-3.6 V, –40 to 85°C
  • Package –  2.5 x 2.5 mm 49-pin CSP with 34 GPIO; 4.5 x 4.5 mm 64-pin BGA with 50 GPIO

The MCU promises weeks, months, and years of battery life thanks to Ambiq Micro’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) Platform. Apollo 2 will be suitable for battery operated devices, or even batteryless devices leveraging energy harvesting such as wireless sensors, activity and fitness trackers, consumer medical devices, smart watches, and smart home/IoT devices.

Documentation and devkits are available but you’d need to contact the company to learn more. Ambiq Micro’s Apollo 2 is currently sampling to some partners, and will be sampling more broadly in the coming months. A few more details may be found on Ambiq Micro Apollo 2’s product page.

Samsung Starts Mass-Production of Exynos 7 Dual (7270) Processor used in Galaxy Gear S3 Smartwatch

October 11th, 2016 4 comments

Samsung has just issued a press release announcing the Korean company had just started mass-production of the first SoC for Wearables using 14-nm FinFET process with their Exynos 7 Dual (7270) dual Cortex A53 processor. Exynos 7270 is also said to be the first such SoC to embed full connectivity and LTE modem integration.

samsung-exynos-7-dualExynos 7270 specifications:

  • CPU – Dual-core ARM CortexA53 processor  @ up to 1.0 GHz
  • GPU – ARM Mali-T720
  • Memory – LPDDR3 support
  • Storage – eMMC 5.0, SD card interfaces
  • Display – Up to 960×540 (qHD) resolution
  • Camera – Up to 5MP pixel sensor support
  • Multimedia – HD ([email protected]) video with HEVC, H.264, VP8 Codec
  • LTE Modem – LTE Category 4 non-CA
  • Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio
  • GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
  • PMIC – Integrated in SiP-ePoP package
  • Package – SiP-ePoP, 10x10mm (SiP: System-in-Package; ePoP: embedded Package-on-Package)

The SoC will be packaged inside a SiP-ePOP package with DRAM, eMMC, and a power management IC, which will allow for a much smaller board, and more space for the battery for example, which combined with the more power efficient 14-nm FinFET process should allow for longer battery life for wearables.

galaxy-gear-s3

Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 Running Tizen OS on Exynos 7 Dual Processor

Samsung can also provide a reference platform with display, NFC, audio codec, diverse sensors and a sensor hub to help companies getting started with their product design.

More information can be found on Exynos 7 Dual product page.

Tizen Studio 1.0 Replaces Tizen SDK for Smartphones, Wearables and TVs

September 5th, 2016 No comments

Tizen has converged all Tizen SDK for mobile, wearables, and TV to Tizen Studio since the beginning of the month, and released Tizen Studio 1.0 for developers interested in developing app for Tizen smartphones, TVs and/or smartwatches such as the latest Samsung Gear S3.

Tizen_Studio_1.0So instead, you’ll now be able to select the targets platform and profiles within Tizen Studio. Some of the key changes made to the development environment in Tizen Studio 1.0 include:

  1. Launching tools: Installer, Uninstaller, and Package Manager
  2. Developing tools: IDE perspective theme, Project Wizard, Certificate Manager, and Menu and tool icons
  3. UI tools: UI Builder, Component Designer, and EDC Editor
  4. Testing tools: Emulator
  5. Testing tools: Dynamic Analyzer for memory and CPU profiling
  6. Other improvements in Tizen application development environment
Dynamic Analyzer in Tizen Studio 1.0

Dynamic Analyzer in Tizen Studio 1.0

Tizen Studio is available for the 32-bit and 64-bit version of Windows,  and Ubuntu, as well as for Mac OS with one version with the graphics IDE, and a smaller command line interface only version.

You can find a few more details about Tizen Studio on a Samsung newsroom post.

Fitbit Introduces Charge 2 and Flex 2 Fitness Trackers

August 30th, 2016 No comments

My first activity tracker, Vidonn X5, worked reasonably well and lasted for over a year, but the subsequent models I tried were all mostly disasters, especially as they added some features like a heart rate monitor that did not work reliably, and worse, their lifetime was poor, lasting only a few days to a few weeks before stopping working. My Xiaomi Mi Band 2 died last week-end, two days after a firmware update which decreased battery life to less than a day, and now refuses to charge. While the HRM was utterly useless, it did count steps fairly accurately, and battery life was good. Sadly, it would only last about two months. So at this stage, it might be worth spending more for a fitness tracker, and Fitbit has unveiled two new models with Charge 2 and Flex 2.

Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2 includes a 1.5″ OLED touchscreen display, and an heart rate monitor. It also supports step counting and sleep tracking, GPS tracking via your phone, and notifications for calls, SMS, and so on. Battery life is said to be around 5 days per charge.

Fitbit Flex 2 does not come with a display, but instead features notification lights. It has a thinner design, and is suitable for swimming with better waterproofness (up to 50 meters), and swim tracking. Phone notifications are supported via the 5 LEDs, and a vibration motor. Battery is also said to last a mere 5 days between charges.

 

Fitbit Flex 2

Fitbit Flex 2

You can remove Flex 2 tracker, and use it in the company’s bands, bangles and pendants. Both products support Fitbit app for Android and iOS.

Fitbit Charge 2 sells for $149.99, while Fitbit Flex 2 goes for $99.99.

Via Liliputing.

Categories: Android, Hardware Tags: ble, fitbit, smartwatch, wearables