Self-powered Swallowable Thermometer Measures Internal Body Temperature

Swallowable Thermometer

Having just written about a thermometer board for home automation,  I’ll stay on the temperature measurement topic, as I’ve found another thermometer that targets the medical field instead. Body temperature measurement at my local hospital is done under the armpit, which does the job in most cases, but more accurate temperature measurement of “deep body temperature” is normally achieved through rectal temperature measurement which is not as practical and comfortable for most people. Daily measurements of deep body temperature can apparently allow physicians to better understand “biological clocks”. In practical terms, it means doctors would be able to know ovulation cycles, measure the fatigue degrees of athletes, and even prevent heat strokes and hypothermia. Seeing the impractically in the conventional method, Nakamura Lab at Tohoku University developed a “swallowable thermometer” for this purpose. The swallowable sensor measures just 9.16mm in diameter, is allegedly perfectly safe to the human body, and is powered in the stomach using the same principle as …

Evercell Thermal Energy Harvester to Power Battery-less IoT Wireless Sensors

In order to be successful the Internet of Things needs to be extremely inexpensive per node, and the problem is that most remote sensors are non powered by batteries, which either needs to be replaced or recharged, which involve maintenance costs. One ideal solution is battery-less IoT sensor nodes, that do not need any battery, and instead rely on energy harvesting. The idea is easier said that done, especially if you intend to do it cheaply. While there have been solutions provided over the years for example using vibration energy harvesting or water flow, battery-less devices are still not that common, but companies still bring new energy harvesting devices to market. One of those is Face International’s Evercell thermal energy harvester that leverages the temperature difference within a material to generate electricity, as long as ambient temperature is above absolute zero. The company plans to manufacture various models of their harvester with different capacities, size, and thickness, for example (expected …

Cracking Open a Self-Powered Shower Temperature Display

A month ago, I wrote about a $10 self-powered thermometer display that connects to your shower header and can display the water temperature near real-time to help with mixing hot and cold water tap to achieve the perfect temperature. It’s not really useful where I live, but I was hoping somebody would buy one, and crack it open to find out how it works. It turns out MickMake has done just that even bringing an oscilloscope in the shower… If you just want to use the thing, the good news is that it appears to work well, and temperature is displayed within less than one second after turning the tap, and goes up as hot/warm water goes through it. Now for the teardown… It does not seem that easy to open it, but he managed, and found a 470 uF capacitor, LS164 8-bit shift register for the LCD display, ABS6 bridge rectifier, and another chip that’s blank but should be …

TDK CeraCharge Solid State Battery-in-a-Chip is Designed for IoT & Wearables

We’ve recently seen solid state batteries are prone to dislodge current Lithium Ion battery technology as they are safer, support higher energy density, and faster charging. Such batteries are expected to be seen in car in the first part of the next decade, in smartphones starting possibly in 2019, but TDK has just announced their own CeraCharge rechargeable solid state SMD battery with mass production scheduled to start in April 2018. TDK CeraCharge battery-in-a-chip will come in compact EIA 1812 package (4.5 x 3.2 x 1.1 mm), offer a capacity of 100 µAh at a rated voltage of 1.4 V, and can be recharged up to 1000 times. Potential applications include IoT devices, real-time clocks, Bluetooth beacons, and systems for energy harvesting. The battery – which will look very similar to an SMD capacitor – does not include liquid electrolyte, and instead uses a solid ceramic element as electrolyte which rules out any risk of fire, explosion, or leakage. The solution works in a wide temperature range …

$10 Self-Powered Thermometer Displays Shower Water Temperature in Real-Time

I now live in a house with an electric water heater which warms the temperature on the fly to the temperature we set on the display, provided it’s not too cold. But in the past, I lived in colder climates with water pre-heated in a hot water tank, and accessibly from most taps in the house. Each time I took a shower I had to adjust the cold and hot water taps, wait a bit, and do further adjustments to get the right temperature, not too cold, not too hot. I’ve just come across a little gadget that you ease this process as it display the water temperature on an LCD display. Installation looks fairly easy, and there’s no need for batteries as it’s self powered with the flow of water. Some of the key features of the device include: Display – 360 degree rotatable & waterproof LED display design:  and waterproof design for better viewing Sensor – High-precision temperature …

EtaCore ARM Cortex M3 Core Operates at Low Voltage (0.25V and up) for Higher Power Efficiency

We’ve previously seen Ambiq Micro offering Apollo ARM Cortex M4F MCU with Cortex M0+ energy efficiency, and later the upgraded Apollo 2 MCU with even lower power consumption and better performance. The company can achieve such efficiency thanks to low sub-thresold operating voltage in the 0 to 0.5V range. Another startup – Eta Compute – is now offering another low voltage solution with their EtaCore ARM Cortex M3 IP, and other IP blocks operating at low voltage (0.25 to 1.2V). Eta Compute claims a “10x improvement in power efficiency over any alternative”, and battery life of over 10 years on a CR2032 coin cell. Their website does not provide that many details about the core and development tools, but still mentions the following: The only commercially available self-timed technology supporting dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) that is insensitive to process variations, inaccurate device models, and path delay variations Includes M0+ and M3 ARM cores scaling 0.3 to 1.2 volt operation with …

8Power Vibration Energy Harvesting Technology Powers Batteryless LPWAN GPS Trackers, MEMS Sensors

While IoT products usually promises one to 10 years battery life, they will be several billions of them, and ARM’s CEO even forecast one trillion IoT devices in the next 20 years. Recharging batteries at home may be fine, but imagine having to recharge or replace batteries on top of electric poles, inside walls, in remote locations, and other hard to reach places, considerable resources would have to be deployed just to replace or recharge battery every year or whenever the battery is close to being depleted.  That’s why work on energy harvesting technology for batteryless devices may be so important, and 8Power is one of the companies working in the field through their vibration energy harvesting technology that is said to harvest up to 10x the power of competing devices under comparable condition thanks to the use of parametric resonance phenomenon. The company has recently announced their Track 100 family of LPWAN GPS tracker, such as Track 100XL relying on …

PragmatIC Manufactures Ultra Thin and Flexible Plastic Electronics Circuit, Plastic ARM Cortex M0 MCU Coming Soon

Electronics manufacturing now relies on silicon wafers, and it works great for many applications. However, some other applications require or benefit from a cheaper price, thinner circuits, and flexibility, and PragmatIC addresses all those three issues with technology to print electronics circuits on plastic sheets. The technology is said to costs less than 1/10th cost of silicon, with the circuit printed on 10 μm thick flexible plastic “wagers” with support for 10 layers. Circuit starts from basic gates up to ARM Cortex M0/M0+ chip as shown above. Simpler circuits are currently sold for as low as $0.01, but the area for Cortex M0 MCU is 1cm2, and a bit too big for commercial applications, so they plan on shrinking the process to make it commercial viable. ARM is an investor in the company, and PragmatIC is ramping production capacity with the ability to manufacture on billion plastic chips/circuits in 2018. They have 6 types of products/solutions: PragmatIC Compute – Digital …