Wireless Controller Needs No Batteries

TI SimpleLink

The future is wireless. In our always connected world, being tethered by wires is no longer a practical solution. But the big advantage of wired connections is that they never need to have their batteries recharged. Fortunately, wireless solutions are becoming so energy efficient that it is now practical to eliminate the batteries altogether. One of the latest devices is the SimpleLink wireless microcontroller from Texas Instruments.

This tiny chip comes in different models to support different wireless standards. Versions are available for Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN and ZigBee, and multiple 2.4 GHz technologies. All this is packed into a chip as small as 4-mm-square with a peak current of less than 6.2 mA. The controller operates at less than 61 uA/MHz, and can sleep while maintaining memory contents and a real-time clock while drawing just 1 uA. This low current draw means that a wireless sensor using this chip could run for years on a standard coin cell battery. The power requirements are so low that they can be met by energy harvesting technology in many settings, eliminating the need for a battery altogether.

TI also offers development kits and sample code for developers. In addition to use in wearable Health Tech devices, the new chips can also be used to create wireless sensors for smart home, retail, and industrial applications. By eliminating both the cost of wiring and of having to recharge or replace batteries, this system could help reduce the cost of ownership for intelligent systems.

3D Printed Implant Delivers Drugs

[Credit: Cognizant Communication Corporation]

One of the (many) modern miracles of science is the fact that doctors can now take human organs and transplant them into new hosts, which can greatly extend their lives. One of the details that does not get much play on television dramas, however, is that the host body views the donated organ as invading […]

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Wearable Health Tech Boosts Corporate Productivity

Office work place

Professional athletes are wearing Health Tech devices during training and competition to help monitor their performance to get maximum results. Oceans of data are analyzed instantly to check to see if an individual is tiring or dehydrated, or may have an injury or even a potential concussion. The vast majority of the population may never […]

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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 […]

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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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