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Reference design from Movea geared for wearables

Posted: 10 Jan 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Movea  wearable  sensor  MEMS  reference design 

Movea has developed a wearable wristband reference design for sports and wellness applications in collaboration with Texas Instruments and the contract design house Xm-Squared. According to the firm, the G-series will be jointly marketed by Movea and Xm-Squared and features connectivity afforded by TI's CC2541 Bluetooth low-energy SoC.

As Movea's first reference design for wearables, the G-Series uses its Motionsport embedded software library, which includes all the normal activity monitoring algorithms for sports and wellness wearables plus functions for determine whether the wearer is standing, sitting, walking or running. OEMs gain access to Movea's motion sensing algorithms from an application programmers interface that includes step count, energy expenditure, distance travelled and sports performance metrics such as running speed, pedestrian cadency (steps per minute) and biking cadency (revolutions per minute).

G-series tracker reference design

Figure 1: G-Series tracker uses Movea's Motionsport embedded software library.

Based on an InvenSense's 9-axis MEMS chip (including a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetometer), the G-Series uses only the accelerometer today.

"The reason we use a 9-axis chip in the reference design, but only use the 3-axis accelerometer today, is to realise the other reference design applications in the future without having to redesign the board," Ava Pagneux, marketing communications manager at Movea, stated. The G-Series is also the world's most accurate and lowest-power turnkey solution for the always-on "quantified self" applications. "We ran benchmarks between the G-Series and the five most popular activity monitors and found it to outperform each in nearly every category."

For activity classification, for instance, Movea claims a success rate higher than 95 per cent, along with the industry's lowest error score (less than 1.7 per cent, versus an average of 6.3 per cent for competitors). The reference design's always-on energy efficiency gives an estimated 10-day battery life between charges by consuming about 5mW while activity monitoring.

InvenSense 3D motion sensor

Figure 2: A 3D motion sensor is a MEMS chip invented at InvenSense.

"Our design is also the first wearable to automatically detect sleep, performing sleep analysis every night with the accuracy of a PolySomnograph," Pagneux said.

Today, hospitals use PolySomnography, based on EEG, to detect wakefulness, sleep and deep-sleep cycles, but Movea said its device can achieve comparable results by analysing the data stream from an accelerometer alone.

"PolySomnography is the gold-standard for measuring sleep patterns in hospitals, but using our device achieves very similar results," Pagneux said. As for the partners' future plans, "the next generation of our reference design will couple with medical devices, such as heart rate and body-temperature monitors, to realise a new generation of e-health applications."

- R. Colin Johnson
  EE Times

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