E-ink Demonstrated a Foldable E-Book Prototype, Color-Changing Clothes, Smartcards and More at Display Week 2017

E-ink is known with their e-paper technology with the same name, that is used in e-book readers and some signage applications, but the company demonstrated some  their prototypes and customer’s products at SID’s Display Week in Los Angeles last month, with some capabilities I had not seen before. Some of the notable solutions and products include: 10.2″ foldable e-book reader prototype based on the company’s flexible Carta Mobius plastic display with 220 ppi A dress that can change colors using E-ink Prism film that was made for a fashion exhibition in Japan. A 42″ active matrix E-ink digital signage display Various examples of products based on E-ink such as smartwaches (e.g. Sony FES Watch U), e-book readers, flexible displays… NFC Smartcard with E-ink display that has the same thickness as normal smartcard, but can be used to display account balance, price of last purchased item, etc… QuirkLogic Quilla interactive and […]

FOSDEM 2017 Open Source Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) is a 2-day free event for software developers to meet, share ideas and collaborate that happens on the first week-end of February, meaning it will take place on February 4 & 5, 2017 this year. FOSDEM 2017 will features 608 speakers, 653 events, and 54 tracks, with 6 main tracks namely: Architectures, Building, Cloud, Documentation, Miscellaneous, and Security & Encryption. I won’t be there, but it’s always interesting to look at the schedule, and I made my own virtual schedule focusing especially on talks from “Embedded, mobile and automotive” and “Internet of Things” devrooms. Saturday 4, 2017 11:00 – 11:25 – Does your coffee machine speaks Bocce; Teach your IoT thing to speak Modbus and it will not stop talking, by Yaacov Zamir There are many IoT dashboards out on the web, most will require network connection to a server far […]

WAVIoT LPWAN Technology Powers Low Cost Smart Water and Electricity Meters

With the rise of IoT and M2M applications, more and more Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) standards have been launched or being worked on, such as Sigfox, LoRa, 802.11ah “Hallow”, Weightless, etc… with all promising long range, low power consumption, and support for a high number of nodes. WAVIoT, a US startup founded in 2011, has decided to create its own solution called WAVIoT Nb-Fi (Narrowband Fidelity) that works in ISM bands, offers up to 50km line-of-sight range, supports up to 2 million nodes by gateway, lasts over 20 years on a small battery, and with WAVIoT said to cost as low as $2 per node. The technology is already available in smart electricity and water meters, and modules as shown in the picture below. Here are some of WAVIoT Nb-Fi technical specifications: DBPSK on physical layer of signal transmission; End-nodes transmit radio signal in 10-500 kHz bandwidth Minimum […]

TI SimpleLink CC1310 Wireless MCU Promises 20 Km Range, 20-Year Battery Life on a Coin Cell

Some LPWAN standards such as SigFox, LoRa, or nWave allows for transmission of data at low bitrate over several kilometers, and I’ve very recently featured Microchip’s LoRa modules and motes in this blog. So when Texas Instruments sent their December 2015 newsletter entitled Wireless MCU spans 20 km on a coin cell, I decided to have a look, and the company’s CC1310 wireless Cortex-M3+M0 MCU based on a proprietary sub GHz technology also claims to last 20-year on a coin cell for applications such as grid communication infrastructure and heat and water meters. SimpleLink CC1310 key features: Microcontroller – ARM Cortex-M3 @ up to 48 MHz with up to 128KB programmable flash, 8KB DRAM for cache/general purpose, 20KB Ultralow Leakage SRAM Sensor Controller – Ultralow power and autonomous; 16-Bit Architecture; 2KB of Ultralow Leakage SRAM for code and data RF core Cortex M0 core with 4KB RAM, and ROM Data […]

Espressif ESP32 Dual Core SoC Features Faster WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and More Peripherals

Espressif teased us about a successor to ESP8266 a few months ago that would support both WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy, and John Lee, working for Espressif Systems, has now sent a letter to ESP8266 developers announcing the new wireless SoC with two Tensilica L108 cores and called ESP32. Espressif ESP32 key improvements over ESP8266: Faster WiFi – Wifi has been upgraded to support HT40 speed (144.4 Mbps) and has a new RF architecture to simplify the application schematics Bluetooth Low Energy and Classic Dual core processor – 2x Tensilica L108 processors clocked at up to 160 MHz Low Power Mode Improvements – ADC conversions, level thresholds, etc.. can now be performed in deep sleep Peripherals – Capacitive touch, ADCs, DACs, I2C. UART, SPI, SDIO, I2S, RMII, PMW, etc… but no USB. More RAM – ~400 KB on-chip RAM Security – Hardware accelerated AES and SSL, and more undisclosed improvements. […]

Altair FourGee LTE Chipsets Promise 10 Years of Connectivity with AA Batteries for IoT Applications

Connectivity achieved with GSM,. 3G or LTE (4G) cellular networks is great for long distances, but usually costs and power consumption are too high for IoT or M2M communications, which explains why there are competing long range low power WAN standards such as Sigfox, LoRA or Weightless. Altair Semiconductor introduced two new LTE SoCs, namely FourGee-1150/6410 and FourGee-1160/6410 a few months ago, supporting respectively LTE Cat-0 and Cat-1 connectivity, and promising up to 10 years of battery life on AA batteries for smart meters, wearables, security alarms, city lightings, etc… Altair FourGee-1150 and FourGee-1160 key features and specifications: Processor – Multiple MIPS M5150 “Warrior” MCU cores LTE Connectivity FourGee-1150 LTE Release 12 Category-0 (1Mbps / 1Mbps), software upgradeable for supporting Release 13 features Integrated VoLTE/IMS/OTA-DM functionality FourGee-1160 LTE Release 11 Category-1 (10Mbps / 5Mbps), software upgradeable for supporting Releases 12 and 13 features Integrated VoLTE/IMS/OTA-DM with HD voice functionality Software […]

Orvibo Wiwo S20 Smart Socket Now Sells for $16

Kankun KK-SP3 used to be the cheapest smart socket on the market at around $20, and it is hackable too, but only available with a Chinese / Australian plug, and for some reasons, many sellers stopped selling the device. Last year, a similar product called Orvibo Wiwo S20 launched with US, UK, EU or AU plug types, but sold for nearly twice as much as KK-SP3 at the time. The good news is that the price has gone down considerably, as it can be purchased for around $16 on GearBest, and it’s available on others for $20 to $26 including on Amazon US, DealExtreme, and GeekBuying. Let’s remind us of the specifications first: Material – ABC 94V-0 (fireproof) Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Security – WEP, WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK Power Plug – US, Europe, United Kingdom or Australia plug Output Current – 10A Output Power – 2000W max. Voltage Range – 100-240V […]

Orvibo Wiwo S20 Wi-Fi Smart Socket Features US, EU, UK, or AU Plug Types

I’ve previously covered several Chinese Wi-Fi smart sockets including Broadlink SP2 also supporting power monitoring, and Kankun KK-SP3, a cheaper, more basic version that can only be turned on and off manually or via timers, and which runs OpenWRT. These plugs have one thing in common: they only come with Australian/Chinese plugs, so if you want to use them in Europe, the US, or United Kingdom, you’ll need an adapter, which may not the the safest things to do, and it’s also inconvenient. Orvibo Wiwo S20 is another model that appears to have the capabilities and a price similar to Broadlink SP2, but available in four flavors with US, EU, UK, and AU plug types. Orvibo Wiwo S20 is made of fireproof ABS, and is significantly smaller than Broadlink SP2, but the rest of the specifications are very similar: Material – ABC 94V-0 (fireproof) Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Security – WEP, […]