Low Power Color LCD Panels for Wearables


When engineers design a wearable device, such as a smartwatch, they have to be concerned about the cost of the materials and the cost of assembly. If the device costs too much to make, the company won’t be able to sell it for a profit. But there’s another budget that limits design choices just as much: the energy budget. And for devices with a display, the display often consumes the lion’s share of the electricity required to power the device. More energy efficient displays can mean that designers can use smaller batteries, resulting in thinner and lighter devices.

Last week, Japan Display Inc. (JDI) announced that they are now taking orders for their new “memory-in-pixel” LCD panels. These round displays are about 1.3 inches in diameter, and have a 320 by 300 color pixel resolution. The panels use a reflective technology that means there is no need for an energy-hungry backlight; the ambient light provides illumination, which also can help the display have better legibility in direct sunlight. The memory-in-pixel feature means that the image data is stored in a memory element at each pixel location. This saves power because the controller only has to send information to the display when the content changes.

According to JDI, these new panels draw 0.5% as much power than a traditional transmissive LCD panel with a backlight. Considering just the display, this means that a battery would last 200 times longer with this new display. Or designers could use a battery 200 times smaller and get the same lifetime between charges. This approach could lead to thinner smartwatches that go much longer on a single charge.

Chip Delivers Drugs for Years

microchip implant

Many people around the world live with chronic conditions that require daily medication. Microchips Biotech is a company in the Boston area that has developed an alternative to injections or pills that can automatically deliver precise doses of drugs. The device can be turned on or off and the dosage adjusted as may be required, and […]

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Aggies to Help Aussies Build Smart Jerseys

Rugby World Cup 2011 Australia Versus Wales

When the eight-time champions of Australian rugby wanted to find a better way to monitor their player’s conditions — especially potential concussions — they turned to engineering professor Dr. Jamie Grunlan at Texas A&M University. The team already has smart jerseys for their players, but these require an external battery pack to operate, which the […]

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Energy Efficiency for Biomedical Devices

our planet earth with communication links around

Smaller, more efficient, more effective: researchers around the globe are working to find ways to make sensors and other Health Tech systems better. This is especially true for devices worn on — or in — the body. Scientists at the University of Technology Eindhoven in the Netherlands are pursuing projects that address several issues: Smartness: […]

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FTC Weighs in on Data Privacy


In an insightful commentary, author Andy Oram published an article on EMR & EHR about the difficulties involved in securing personal data in the Internet of Things (IoT), especially when wearable Health Tech devices are involved. In the article, he cites a report published last month by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on “Internet of Things: Privacy […]

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Insulin Pump and Monitor Approved by FDA

Animas Vibe Insulin system

In December, the FDA approved a system that includes an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device. This has provides the advantage of getting blood glucose levels throughout the day and night, providing more accurate control and insulin dosages. The system uses the Animas Vibe insulin pump that connects wirelessly to a Dexcom […]

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Implant Conquers Cluster Headaches

Cluster headache

Have you ever heard of a “cluster headache”? I hadn’t. It turns out this condition — sometimes known as “suicide headache” — has been characterized as “one of the most severe pains known to humans.” More than 1 in 1,000 people in the U.S. alone suffer from this incurable condition, which is similar to the […]

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Replacement Heart Valve Inserts by Catheter

Sapien heart valve

One problem with people is that parts wear out. Whether due to disease, trauma, or other causes, they can start to fail. Some parts can be repaired, but more and more, physicians are now able to insert replacements to take the place of the original equipment. Edwards Lifesciences Corporation is a leader in replacement heart valves, […]

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New Bra Detects Cancer

Fit Woman In Sports Bra

Physicians and researchers agree that one of the keys to successful treatment of breast cancer is early diagnosis. One of the frontline defenses against the disease is a mammogram, which can be uncomfortable and involves x-ray radiation. Cyrcadia Health is a company that has developed a technology that is more accurate than a mammogram, according […]

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Wearable Psychosis as Teaching Tool [video]

Wearable psychosis

The use of wearable technology for augmented reality (AR) is well known. It can be give the user additional useful information about the surroundings and other contextual data. But what about using wearable technology to intentionally distort reality? That’s the concept behind a device created by an artist from the Netherlands, that she calls “The […]

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