Real Time Clock [RTC]

In wearable RTC not allows to keep the time but also helps in putting the system in low power mode according to time thus saving power. Low power operation and tiny package RTC is a required for battery powered and small form factor devices. M41T62 RTC from ST is ultra-small package with embedded crystal and 350nA current consumption.

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Wireless Technology – Bluetooth Smart [BLE]

Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth Low Energy [BLE] is a standard that enables connectivity of low power devices and sensors. It uses short wavelength radio transmission at 2.4GHz band. Using Bluetooth Smart it is possible to enable two way communications between various devices wirelessly with incredible battery life. BLE enabled devices can also work seamlessly with the compatible smartphone and benefit from the rich user interface. Smartphone can also transfer data over the cloud using other connectivity such as GPRS.

Bluetooth low energy technology operates in the same spectrum as Classic Bluetooth technology but it enables ultra-low power connectivity and basic data transfer for applications previously limited by the power consumption.

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•       Wireless Network Processor IC. Complete PHY, Link layer and Host

•       Single Mode-Master/Slave role solution

•       Freq Band: 2.4GHz

•       Data Rate:1Mbps

•       Operating Input voltage: from 2.0 to 3.6V

•       Smart power management: step down DC-DC / Linear Voltage regulator

•       RX peak current: 7.3 mA

•       TX peak current @ 0 dBm: 8.2 mA

•       Input voltage monitor

•       External Microcontroller Interface: SPI

Layered Architecture of BlueNRG – Bluetooth Smart IC from STMicroelectronics

Major Applications of Wearables

Fitness and Wellness

Connected Smart watches, activity monitors, pedometers enable users to monitor their fitness activity through their smartphones. Wearables are also available as activity monitors, foot pads, sleep sensors and heart rate monitors. Wearable also allows to optimize sports performance, goal monitoring, weight control, direction data and location sharing.

Healthcare

Heart rate monitors, glucose monitors, pulse oximeters can now be connected to Smartphones through BLE. BLE not only allow these gadgets to connect to smartphones wirelessly but also get connected to internet through smartphones. It will enable information to be stored on cloud and share with doctors and family members. BLE has also enabled these gadget to be placed at strategic locations such as shoes, wrist etc. BLE support many healthcare related profiles such as glucose meters, heart rate monitoring, thermometer and blood pressure.

Proximity and Anti-theft accessories

A small BLE accessory when tagged to pets and kids can alert the smartphone if they sneak out of reach. BLE enabled car keys can be found easily with the help of connected Smartphone. Wallets and luggage tagged with BLE can alert the Smartphone if some try to steal them.

Security and tracking

A wearable watch or tracking devices allows kids location to be constantly monitored by their parents. These devices are also used as SOS device by kids and women when in danger. A connected device will send signal to smartphone which in turn will SMS user location to the concerned authorities and family members.

Conclusion

Wearable has the potential to change the world just as internet did. Smart Sensors and BLE have empowered devices with power of sensing and communication to take complex decisions. Wearables will create fundamentally new use cases and will do things which even smartphones cannot do. It is expected that healthcare and fitness will emerge as the largest category for wearable. STMicroelectronics offers one stop shop for all semiconductor requirements in this space and allows for users and entrepreneurs time to market with driver and library support.


Authored by Vishal Goyal, Senior Manager – Technical Marketing, Analog MEMS and Sensors [AMS], India, Asean and ANZ, STMicroelectronics

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