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The Wearable Revolution: How the electronics technology can strengthen wearable smart devices, part 1

Wearable electronics is an incredibly interesting field. These smart devices can gather data and to manage them by processing, transmitting, and computing information coming from and giving to the user. At the same time, users stay constantly connected to online services. This option is particularly interesting in a smart city were the cloud of data could be processed more effectively and this feature makes the wearable electronics a great opportunity for all the companies working in electronic field. This trend has been confirmed at the IFA 2019 tech show in Europe of September 2019 (Figure 1).

Smartwatch by Fossil
Figure 1. Fossil recently announced the smartwatch. Source: THE VERGE

Given the number of announcements and releases we’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s hard to imagine that many wearables manufacturers will have anything big left to reveal at IFA this year. Just last week, Garmin announced its new Fenix GPS sport watches and Fitbit announced its Versa 2, and earlier in the month we also saw new smartwatch announcements from Samsung and Fossil. Still, given that Honor announced the Band 5 in China recently, there’s a possibility that the company could use IFA 2019 to announce a western release. Honor’s parent company, Huawei, has also just unveiled its new operating system HarmonyOS, which it’s indicated could power a future wearables. We’d be surprised if it had one of these ready for IFA, however. Finally, Wearable notes that Fossil is expected to release a new batch of hybrid smartwatches before the end of the year, and IFA would provide the perfect opportunity for an announcement.” (Source: THE VERGE)

Moreover, many big electronics Companies, like the STMicroelectronics Company, developed a wide portfolio of electronics components to fit the wearable applications, like the LED1202, a led driver suitable for the smart watch displays as well as for many others interesting applications (see Figure 2):

LED applications
Figure 2: The LED1202 possible set of applications. Source: ST Blog

The LED1202 is our first 12-channel LED driver with eight programmable patterns capable of automatic sequencing, while its 8-bit analog and 12-bit digital dimming control enable precise lighting effects. Thanks to its ability to feed 20 mA of current to each channel, the LED1202 can power four RGB lights or 12 white ones. Moreover, its small WLCSP20 package (1.71 mm x 2.16 mm x 0.5 mm) will make it easier to implement it in tight designs where space is a major constraint, while its QFN 3×3 housing will help with heat dissipation in PCBs that enjoy larger areas.

Offering users, a lighting system that features LEDs for feedback and status updates can often make up for the absence of a display. LEDs can also be a feature as gaming peripherals often advertise what their lighting system can do, for instance. LED drivers can, however, be complex to use and require numerous external components. As a result, ST offers a utility to help developers program their effects through a graphical interface while our component’s architecture reduces the number of external devices necessary. (Source: ST Blog)

Do you like wearable electronics? Do you own any electronic wearable gadget and, if so, do you find it effective and comfortable?


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