Develco Has Developed a Multiplatform in the Form of a Wearable for Support of Work Functions
It is a generic wireless communication platform, in a size which allows it to function as an intelligent wearable. The device – internally named Roger – is able to collect data and act as information media for service and security personnel, for example, or to provide data on location of equipment and usage parameters.
Small and Powerful
A wearable must inevitably be of a modest size. Of course, this imposes limitations on the scope of technical content, but despite this, the capability is impressive. Roger is an example of using Develco’s competencies and years of experience within IoT relevant technologies where “everything” is gathered in very limited space. There is communication between 19 highly specialized IC circuits in an area of only 55x40mm. The physical framework places significant demands on hardware design to avoid interference and ensure coexistence and robustness, but also challenging requirements for the design of Low Level software and drivers to fully utilize the technologies in an energy efficient way so that it can be run by the small built-in Li-Po battery.
Roger is equipped with vibrator, speaker, compass, gyroscope, dimmable display, digital microphone and can detect time, temperature, acceleration and pressure. The most important technology elements are as follows:
- Cortex M7, 216MHz processes with FreeRTOS
- WiFi provisioning and communication
- TFT-LCD control with MIPI DSI interface
- BlueTooth Low Energy, for communication with smartphones and other devices as well as proximity detection
- 4 GHz antenna design and impedance adaptation
- Ultra low power design for optimal battery lifetime
- Interface to and control of MEMS sensors for measuring temperature, magnetic field, air pressure, gyro, and acceleration
- MEMS microphone with Pulse Density Modulation (PDM), with subsequent audio quantization and streaming in PCM format.
Roger can be used for IoT / cloud solutions with e.g. IBM Bluemix as a platform. Together with Draupner Graphics, a TouchGFX solution has been developed providing an optimal graphical interface and allowing easy customization of the visual.
Free Hands with a Roger
In the area of fitness, wearables for the wrist have been known for a long time, and smartwatches are a fast-paced market. The visions for Roger are far greater, namely to develop multifunctional wearables for work and with a much wider range of applications. Information sharing and data collection by a Roger can streamline and enhance the quality of many different work functions through direct access to accurate data and reduced time spent on non-value-creating activities: Finding a way, looking for relevant information and guidance as well as documenting activities. With a Roger on the wrist, there is time for the primary task, for example, to perform a technical fix or to give a patient the right medication with the help of “Roger’s” instructions and information. A Roger could also be valuable in terms of service, cleaning, guarding and warehousing tasks.
As examples of application areas could be mentioned:
- Instructions for technical maintenance personnel
- Information for staff in nursing homes about residents’ medical and nursing needs
- Specific instructions for service personnel in the field of cleaning
- Monitoring of utility parameters for internal transport equipment
The management in Develco has high expectations about Roger’s market potential. CEO Ole Rudkilde says: “We have developed a product that, in our opinion, will be highly competitive both functionally and costly. Roger can be tailored to the needs of each segment and customer so that it precisely possesses the functional features that are useful in relation to a given task. The use of a specially designed Roger will provide great savings and improved workflows in many areas. In addition, data collection can be a valuable management tool to optimize business operations and provide input to new business strategies. A Roger is an IoT device and can generate Big Data, which may inspire to new business models.”
Roger over – and out
The name Roger, which in old radio language has the meaning “received”, is a small tribute to radio pioneers, to whom Develco is in large intellectual debt. One of Develco’s first development tasks in 1989 was a radio communications system for a Norwegian taxi company, and Develco has throughout its lifetime had communication systems, including wireless technologies, as an absolute core competence