Plessey dotLED

When it comes to designing wearable Health Tech devices, small is beautiful. In order to make wearables that “disappear” into our lives, everything needs to be made smaller, lighter, thinner, and last longer without recharging. (It’s best if they never need to be recharged at all). So anything that can be done to reduce the size of these devices can help advance the industry. That’s why an announcement from the British technology company Plessey is so interesting.

The company has announced that it is expanding their dotLED product line. These are interesting because the LEDs use a square die that is merely 0.2 mm on a side. They also are available in a standard package that is 1.0 mm by 0.5 mm, which can easily be handled by existing automated assembly systems. In addition to red, green, and blue, the product line now includes white LEDs. These up to 1 lumen of light, with a 130-degree viewing angle. The company plans to announce even smaller units in a wider range of colors later this fall.

These small lights can serve a wide range of functions for wearable Health Tech devices. They can be status indicator lights, but they can do much more. For example, there are systems in development that use light to wirelessly transmit data instead of the radio waves used by Bluetooth or other systems. LEDs are also playing a growing role in biometric sensors for everything from blood pressure and heart rate to blood sugar levels. Smaller LED devices will only increase their usefulness in wearable Health Tech device design.