$100 GLIGO E-Ink Smartwatch Promises “2-Year Battery Life” (Crowdfunding)

Wearables are useful little devices, but many of them suffer from short battery life, and in my case at least, I forget to charge mine from time to time. So when I saw GLIGO E-Ink smartwatch promising 2-year battery life on a charge, it caught my eyes. But then looking into the details, it looks like battery life is really 6 months unless you don’t plan on using the display: We adopted an energy-efficient dual-core design:the quartz core has a battery life of up to two years, e-ink screen has a battery life of up to 180 days. Six months is not that bad either, so let’s still have a look. GLIGO E-Ink smartwatch specifications: MCU – Unamed Arm Cortex M3 microcontroller with 128KB memory Display – E-ink segmented display Japanese Watch Movement Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 LE Sensors – Green light heart rate sensor (HRM), 3D G-sensor, 3-axis accelerometer Misc – 15,000 rpm vibrator Battery – 100 mAh charged …

TTGO Micro-32 is a Tiny ESP32-PICO-D4 Module

TTGO Micro-32 vs ESP32-WROOM-32

Unveiled almost a year ago, ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP (System-in-Package) combines ESP32 wireless processor, 4MB SPI Flash, a crystal oscillator, as well as some passive components, and allows more compact or thinner designs such as found in ESP32-PICO- Kit v4 development board. However, so far I had not seen any ESP32-PICO-D4 module, but TTGO Micro-32 fills the void as a compact module based on the SiP. TTGO Micro-32 module specifications: SiP – Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 based on ESP32 dual core processor + 4MB SPI flash Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 LE and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 150 Mbps with chip antenna and u.FL (IPEX) connector Expansion – Castellated holes with GPIO, ADC, DAC, VP/VN, Touch, UART, I2C, and power signals Supply Voltage – 3.3V Dimensions – 19.2 x 13.3 mm (45% smaller than ESP32-WROOM-32) There’s no specific software for the module, since it should be software compatible with ESP-WROOM-32 (now called ESP32-WROOM-32). I first found TTGO Micro-32 module on Banggood where it …

Maxim Announces Wearable ECG and Heart Monitor Development Kits

Maxim ECG Heart Monitor Development Kits

Maxim Integrated has recently announced two wearable development kits for fitness / health tracking: MAX-HEALTH-BAND watch for vital signs MAX-ECG-MONITOR with a chest strap for clinical-grade electrocardiograph (ECG) and heart rate. MAX-HEALTH-BAND Development Kit The MAX-HEALTH-BAND wrist-worn heart-rate and activity monitor features the company’s MAX86140 optical pulse-oximeter/heart-rate sensor, MAX20303 wearable power-management solution, and Maxim’s motion-compensated algorithms. The watch sends raw PPG and accelerometer data via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, and also monitors steps, activity, heart rate and interbeat intervals for heart-rate variability measurements. Battery life is around 7 days on a single charge. The kit also includes a USB charging cable, and instructions to download the Android-based application. The evaluation platform can be used for the development of fitness and wellness trackers, health monitoring trackers, or as a experimentation platform for new use cases and algorithms. In addition to raw PPG and accelerometer data, the MAX-HEALTH-BAND monitors steps, activity, heart rate, and interbeat intervals for heart-rate variability. The MAX-HEALTH-BAND …

Snapdragon Wear 2500 Launched for the 4G LTE Kid Watch Market

Snapdragon Wear 2500

Qualcomm has made several announcements at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018. We’ve already covered Snapdragon 632, 639, and 629 processors for mid- and high-tier smartphones, but the company has also finally announced a new SoC for wearables succeeding Snapdragon Wear 2100. Meet Snapdragon Wear 2500, specifically targeting 4G children watches. Qualcomm is usually not the best company when it comes to releasing technical details about their processors, but here what Snapdragon Wear 2500 specifications should look like: Processor – 4x Arm Cortex A7 GPU – Adreno-class GPU Connectivity – Fifth generation 4G LTE modem with RF front-end (RFFE), location engine, “Bluetooth streaming architecture”, NXP NFC solution Camera I/F – 5MP Ultra-low power sensor hub working with InvenSense sensors Power  – Wearable PMIC reducing Rock Bottom Sleep Current (RBSC) by percent, charger, fuel gauge Compact package Snapdragon Wear 2500 is designed for low power with up to 14 percent longer battery life for both active and standby modes of operation compared …

ASUS VivoWatch BP is a Fitness Tracker that Measures Blood Pressure

If you need to monitor your blood pressure regularly, you may have used one of those blood pressure monitors that you wraps around your upper arm, and display results on an LCD display, and in some cases, synchronize the data with your smartphone Bluetooth. Those devices do the job, but they may be inconvenient to use daily, and some people just forgo measurements. Omron first introduced a more user-friendly solution with their Project Zero BP6000 blood pressure monitor-in-a-watch in 2016, further refined with Project Zero 2.0 watch in 2017. That’s all good, except for the same details that neither versions of the watch – to be called Heartvue – are for sale, as the company is still working on FDA approval… ASUS has filled the void with VivoWatch BP watch, and IMHO has taken a more clever approach to launching their product, since the watch will be available in Asia this summer, and in the US after FDA approval, which …

ZiP (zGlue Integration Platform) Enables the Design & Manufacturing of Low Cost Custom Chips

When I first started to read about zOrigin on Crowdsupply, I was not really impressed. Meh… Yet another Bluetooth LE fitness tracker with a few sensors, and an Android app. But as I read further, I found out the interesting part was inside the device: ZGLZ1BA, a custom chip manufactured using ZiP (zGlue Integration Platform) chip-stacking technology, which produces something similar to SiP (System-in-Package) but at a much lower cost and manufacturing lead time. But let’s have a look at zOrigin tracker first, which acts as a demonstration / evaluation platform for ZiP technology. Key specifications & features: “SoC” – ZGZL1BA ZiP with Dialog Semiconductor DA14585 16MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 MCU with BLE Analog Devices AD8233 Heart Rate Analog Front End (AFE) Macronix MX25R4035F 2 Mbit Flash Memory MCube MC3672 Accelerometer Maxim MAX77734 Power Managment IC (PMIC) SiTime SIT1552 32 kHz Oscillator Vishay SI8466EDB MOSFET 30 passive components Package – 0.8-mm-pitch BGA package measuring 8.7 mm x 9.1 mm …

AsteroidOS 1.0 Released – An Open Source Linux OS for Wear OS Smartwatches

We first discovered AsteroidOS, a Linux based open source operating system working on some Android Wear (now Wear OS by Google) smartwatches, in early 2016 while looking at FOSDEM 2016 schedule. The project and community have since grown to support more watches,  and a company even tried to launch an AsteroidOS smartwatch (sadly unsuccessfully), but development kept going, and now the very first stable release is out with AsteroidOS 1.0. Some of the highlights of the release: AsteroidOS 1.0 features and apps: phone notifications, an agenda, an alarm clock, a calculator, a music remote control, settings customizations, a stopwatch, a timer, and a weather forecast app. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sync with Android phones using AsteroidOSSync app. Supported hardware LG G Watch, LG G Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R Asus Zenwatch 1, Asus Zenwatch 2, Asus Zenwatch 3 Sony Smartwatch 3 Software emulator for testing and development. Community supported watchfaces 20 languages supported so far: Chinese, Czesh, Danish, Dutch, …

Wear OS by Google Developer Preview 2 Adds Actions on Google (AoG) Support and Power-related Enhancements

Wear-OS-by-Google-Huawei-Watch-2

Google has released the second developer preview of Wear OS by Google – previously known as Android Wear – that adds support for Actions on Google (AoG) and power-related enhancements among other features. The release can be run in the Android Emulator, and firmware images have also been made available for Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth /  Classic Bluetooth. Google Assistant can now support visual cards, follow-on suggestion chips, and text-to-speech on Wear OS, and developers can make use of Actions on Google. The feature does not depend on Android P, and all Wear 2.0 watch will support it. The Android P developer preview, also includes an enhanced battery saver mode during which the watch shows a power-efficient face, and turns off radios, the touch screen, and tilt to wake. Users can check the time by pressing the side button, and get back to normal mode with a long press. In a previous release, Google decided to turn off WiFi when …