Santa Clara, Calif. – ROHM Semiconductor has developed a wearable key device that integrates multiple sensors, a Bluetooth LE IC, and a low-power sensor hub microcontroller into a compact, lightweight form factor. The device provides high functionality – counts the number of steps taken, estimates the number of calories consumed, and calculates distance to performing lock/unlock operation (via gesture control), detects small metallic objects (i.e. for food inspection), and monitors UV exposure. It also determines when the wearer is walking up/down stairs, on a bicycle, or riding in a train or car.
The devices uses sensor synergy and sensor fusion technology, combining sensors from ROHM and Kionix with LAPIS Semiconductor's Bluetooth LE communication IC and sensor hub microcontroller to deliver the high functionality.
The integrated sensors include a 2-in-1 proximity + ambient light sensor, optical UV sensor, MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope, piezoresistive barometric pressure sensor, ultra-high-sensitivity magnetic impedance (MI) sensor, and RGB sensor. Power is provided by an 110mA/hr lithium-ion battery that enables continuous operation for more than eight hours while requiring only one hour to fully charge (via USB).
- Activity monitoring
The lightweight device can estimate calories burned and count the number of steps taken, and detect when the wearer is riding in a vehicle (i.e. bus, train, car) or walking up/down stairs – and track time traveled. Users can set a daily target for calorie consumption and the device will provide real-time display of calories burned and deliver alerts and show recommended exercises to meet calorie goals.
- Gesture control
The device allows users to lock and unlock compatible tablets and smartphones by holding the key device and drawing a 'U' or 'L' in the air.
- UV measurement
Attach the device externally around the neck or attached to a belt to measure the amount of UV radiation in order to prevent sunburn or excessive exposure.
- Distance measurement
Point the key at the top of a well-known (preloaded) metropolitan landmark or building in order to instantly obtain the distance and approximate walking time.
- Metal detection
Detect small foreign metal objects in food using the built-in high-sensitivity MI sensor –point the device at the food to obtain a reading.
Availability: Mass production is expected in December 2014.