Engineering 101

The final frontier for the IoT

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From hospitals, cars and offices to fitness trackers, smart homes and connected factories, there’s really no limit to the number of industries or applications that the Internet of Things can reach. Anything, anywhere, has the potential to be connected to the IoT through smart devices like wearables. Anywhere…even off the planet.

Dialog semiconductor, we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of wearable technology. Our ICs provide the power efficiency and small form factors needed to empower the latest and greatest in wearables. Wearables are all about bridging the gap between people and electronics, in any environment, including outer space.

Life in space, whether it’s aboard spacecraft like the International Space Station or repairing satellites on a spacewalk, is particularly difficult. Given the nature of an astronaut’s work, coupled with how dangerous their environments are, astronauts are especially in need of devices that provide quick, intuitive, tactile access to mission-critical and potentially life-saving data, all at a moment’s notice. And the potential for Dialog to help power some of these devices is an exciting possibility that we’re eagerly working toward.

NASA’s Wearable Electronics and Applications Research (WEAR) Lab spearheads the agency’s efforts on developing and using wearables for space. Justin Bautista, who leads the WEAR Lab, was recently at Bluetooth World to talk about one of their biggest breakthroughs in bringing the health-tracking benefits of wearables to astronauts: the Personal CO2 Monitor.

In the cramped compartments of the International Space Station and the spacecraft that transport astronauts there, monitoring levels of carbon dioxide is key to the health of the crew. High CO2 levels can lead to health problems like high blood pressure, dizziness and headaches and more severe complications like impaired vision and judgment. Staying on top of how much CO2 astronauts are exposed to is critically important, which is exactly what the Personal CO2 Monitor wearable was designed for: to track crew members’ CO2 levels and leverage commercial-off-the-shelf sensors to alert astronauts of any potential health dangers as they arise.

With all the different applications we’ve seen out of wearables and connected devices over the last several years, Justin’s presentation was a great reminder that there is still so much potential left untapped, potential that Dialog is working to realize and make into a reality. The sky, and literally beyond, is the limit when it comes to unlocking the next level of what wearables can really do.

Source Dialog Semiconductor

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