Increasing healthcare costs, coupled with a growing push to extend healthcare services into proactive health management, are rapidly driving wearable wireless devices into corporate wellness programs.
According to analysts at ABI Research, more than 13 million wearable devices with embedded wireless connectivity will be integrated into wellness plans offered by businesses over the next five years.
“Corporate wellness is increasingly being targeted by a mix of specialist and consumer focused device vendors and competition will also extend to software applications on mobile devices,” explained Jonathan Collins, author of a new study on the subject.
“[However], device adoption will not just be about device characteristics. Success will come to the vendors that can meet a range of requirements demanded in the corporate wellness market as well as applying their resources to maximize the value of their sales strategies.”
As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel is smack in the middle of the rapidly evolving wearable tech revolution. First off, Atmel’s SAM4S and tinyAVR MCUs are inside the Agent smart-watch which recently hit Kickstarter, while the Amulyte pendant is powered by Atmel’s SAM4L, the very same MCU used to regulate smart (wearable) glucose meters. Meanwhile, Atmel’s versatile SAMA5D3 eMPU lineup is more than capable of powering fitness and outdoor portable electronic equipment for measuring performance (or providing navigation) of various outdoor activities, including running, cycling, hiking and golf.
Atmel MCUs have also tipped up in a number of Maker projects for wearable tech, as our microcontrollers power Adafruit’s Flora, Gemma and Trinket platforms.
And why not? Simply put, Atmel offers a wide range of wearable computing platforms designed for ultra-low power consumption – both in active and standby modes. Indeed, Atmel’s EventSystem with SleepWalking allows peripherals to automatically connect with each other even in ultra low power modes, thereby simplifying sensor interfacing and further optimizing power consumption. Meanwhile, “Wakeup” times are minimized, facilitating the use of low-power modes without missing communications data or sensor events.
In addition, Atmel devices integrate numerous features to save circuit board space, such as USB transceivers and embedded termination resistors. Many devices are offered in very small form factor packages, a critical characteristic for engineers and Makers designing wearable tech.
On the software side, the Atmel Software Framework (ASF) includes communications libraries to support external Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, mesh and point-to-point networking on Atmel’s 802.15.4/Zigbee AT86RF radios as well as a full range of USB drivers. The ASF also contains libraries and driver functions for many popular third-party sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers.
In addition, stand-alone Atmel controllers support off-the-shelf capacitive buttons, sliders and wheel (BSW) implementations. Plus, all our microcontrollers can directly manage capacitive buttons via provided software libraries, while the maXTouch series of capacitive touchscreen controllers are capable of managing optically clear touch sensors overlaid on LCD displays.
And last but certainly not least, Atmel’s touch platforms may be tuned to function when moisture is present – which is often a key requirement for wearable applications. Interested in learning more? Check out Atmel’s white paper on wearable tech here.