Tag Archives: Baby Wearables

Why connect to the cloud with the Atmel | SMART SAM W25?

The “thing” of IoT does not have to necessarily be tiny. 

The Atmel | SMART SAM W25 is, in fact, a module — a “SmartConnect Module.” As far as I am concerned, I like SmartConnect designation and I think it could be used to describe any IoT edge device. The device is “smart” as it includes a processing unit, which in this case is an ARM Cortex-M0-based SAMD21G, and “connect” reminds the Internet part of the IoT definition. Meanwhile, the ATWINC1500 SoC supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n allowing seamless connection to the cloud.

What should we expect from an IoT edge device? It should be characterized by both low cost and power! This IoT system is probably implemented multiple times, either in a factory (industrial) or in a house (home automation), and the cost should be as low as possible to enable large dissemination. I don’t know the SAMD21G ASP, but I notice that it’s based on the smallest MCU core of the ARM Cortex-M family, so the cost should be minimal (my guess). Atmel claims the W25 module to be “fully-integrated single-source MCU + IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi solution providing battery powered endpoints lasting years”… sounds like ultra low-power, doesn’t it?

Atmel claims the W25 module to be “Fully-integrated single-source MCU + IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi solution providing battery powered endpoints lasting years”…sounds like being ultra low-power, isn’t it

The “thing” of IoT does not necessarily have to be tiny. We can see in the above example that interconnected things within the industrial world can be as large as these wind turbines (courtesy of GE). To maximize efficiency in power generation and distribution, the company has connected these edge devices to the cloud where the software analytics allow wind farm operators to optimize the performance of the turbines, based on environmental conditions. According with GE, “Raising the turbines’ efficiency can increase the wind farm’s annual energy output by up to 5%, which translates in a 20% increase in profitability.” Wind turbines are good for the planet as they allow avoiding burning fossil energy. IoT devices implementation allows wind farm operators to increase their profitability and to build sustainable business. In the end, thanks to Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT), we all benefit from less air pollution and more affordable power!

ATSAMW25 Block-DiagramThe ATWINC1500 is a low-power Systems-on-Chip (SoC) that brings Wi-Fi connectivity to any embedded design. In the example above, this SoC is part of a certified module, the ATSAMW25, for embedded designers seeking to integrate Wi-Fi into their system. If we look at the key features list:

  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (1×1) for up to 72 Mbps
  • Integrated PA and T/R switch
  • Superior sensitivity and range via advanced PHY signal processing
  • Wi-Fi Direct, station mode and Soft-AP support
  • Supports IEEE 802.11 WEP, WPA
  • On-chip memory management engine to reduce host load
  • 4MB internal Flash memory with OTA firmware upgrade
  • SPI, UART and I2C as host interfaces
  • TCP/IP protocol stack (client/server) sockets applications
  • Network protocols (DHCP/DNS), including secure TLS stack
  • WSC (wireless simple configuration WPS)
  • Can operate completely host-less in most applications

We can notice that host interfaces allow direct connection to device I/Os and sensors through SPI, UART, I2C and ADC interfaces and can also operate completely host-less. A costly device is then removed from the BOM which can enable economic feasibility for an IoT, or IIoT edge device.

The low-power Wi-Fi certified module is currently employed in industrial systems supporting applications, such as transportation, aviation, healthcare, energy or lighting, as well as in IoT areas like home appliances and consumer electronics. For all these use cases, certification is a must-have feature, but low-cost and ultra-low power are the economic and technical enablers.

This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Eric Esteve is a principle blogger and one of the four founding members of the site. This blog first appeared on SemiWiki on November 15, 2015.

Hoko is a portable baby comfort monitor

Hoko is a real-time baby comfort monitor that makes it easier to enjoy outdoor adventures with the whole family.

Being a parent is tough. Making matters even tougher is having to try and decipher how your baby is feeling. And for a vast majority of us who must endure wintry climates, getting young children dressed up for outdoor activities can be quite the task. You’re constantly wondering: Are my little ones comfortable? Are they too warm? Perhaps too cold? This was a challenge that one Montreal startup was determined to solve, helping moms and dads across the world alleviate their stress. Their solution? Hoko.


Hoko is a cute real-time monitor that looks to put an end to the guessing game and bestow a special power unto all parents, one in which gives them a clear glimpse into the mind of infants. Designed particularly for the outdoors, the friendly-looking device is embedded with sensors that measure temperature and humidity levels as they’re felt in a child’s clothing. An ATmega328P at its core analyzes any fluctuations and relays a signal. This data is then communicated to the Hoko interface, which in turn blinks various colors depending on their comfort level, enabling parents to intervene if necessary.

For instance, red represents heat, yellow indicates a rise in humidity, blue signifies a drop in temperature, green means the battery is running low, and white denotes all is well. (White is what every parent wants!) If your kid is happy, you are happy.


How Hoko works is pretty straightforward. Install the small unit into a youngster’s outfit. Hit a switch to activate the monitor. Receive temperature-related discomfort alerts through illuminated colors. It’s as simple as that. And rightfully so, considering all of the stress and frequent uncertainty that parents must endure, Hoko will take care of one piece of the puzzle.

According to its creators and outdoor enthusiasts, Didier Lortie and Nicolas Plourde, the idea for the device was actually conceived to make life easier for themselves. When Lortie had learned that he was becoming a dad, the duo decided that they had to come with a way to keep up with their exciting open-air activities.


“Adventurers at heart, fathers and friends to many new parents, we’re willing to bet that it’s entirely possible to plan outdoor activities with a child without having to compromise your little one’s health or shorten your day,” they explain.

So whether you’re a new father who doesn’t want to sacrifice your love for outdoor adventures or just a mother looking for a something to help ensure that your baby is comfortable, Hoko may be the answer! Intrigued? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where Lortie and Plourde are currently seeking $45,571. Delivery is slated for February 2016.

Sproutling’s smart baby monitor is a wearable for infants

It’s safe to say that being the parent of a newborn can be an exhausting task to undertake. Parents will search high and low for any product that can help them earn a few more minutes of relaxation during the day.


Stress no more as the Sproutling baby monitor, now available for pre-order, looks to help keep parents constantly updated on their baby’s status and ease some of their worries along the way. “We’re really trying to eliminate that helicopter parenting. If you have a baby, a lot of your free time is actually when they’re asleep,” Co-Founder Chris Bruce tells VentureBeat.

Because the band and base are monitoring a variety of elements, the tracker aims to give parents a fairly complete view of how the baby is doing. To alleviate the constant hovering, the Sproutling combines a wearable band, a room sensor and a mobile app to provide a constant stream of insights around a baby’s sleeping habits and status.

A small band is worn around the child’s ankle that can monitor heart rate, skin temperature, motion and position. The monitor — which is encompassed in medical grade silicone and shaped in a way that prevents it from being a choking hazard — straps onto the baby’s ankle and communicates with a nearby base and the mobile app. In unison, they track heartbeat, body temperature, the noise level in the room, the baby’s motion and other factors that indicate how well a baby is sleeping. Over time, the device will learn the baby’s patterns and behaviors.


The benefit of the app’s simplicity is that it doesn’t overwhelm parents with the abundant information it’s gathering — it only tells them if there’s really a problem, Co-Founder Mathew Spolin explained to TIME. “For a new parent, they’re not going to know if 130 beats per minute is better than 90, and without the context to really interpret vitals data, it’s just going to create more anxiety and more fear.”

The team also built in some forward-thinking functions of the Sproutling, as it comes in three sizes so that it can grow with your baby. It also miraculously charges wirelessly so that the child doesn’t come in close contact with any wires. Even better, the charger itself doubles as an environment sensor. The stylish unit can measure room temperature, humidity and light levels.

The unique device can even go as far to predict when a toddler will wake up from a nap. As trivial as that sounds, any new parent will tell you that free time is worth its weight in gold!

There’s little doubt that the Sproutling will help a frenzied parent catch their forty winks. Sproutling is currently accepting pre-orders for this connected device. For more details, head over to their home page.