Wearable and Portable devices are a part of our everyday reality. We use handheld and wireless controls for a broad set of industrial, home, office, military and transportation applications every day. With the pervasive nature of these devices, the ability to quickly and easily develop new solutions using Unison and DSPnano becomes a significant benefit. Their tiny footprint, Linux compatibility and ease of use make them ideal for lower cost lower power solutions.
The Ultimate Wearable - Helping the Blind See
Texas Instruments ARM Cortex A8/Cortex A9 -TI support with the WearableOS ultra tiny embedded Linux and POSIX compatible Unison Operating System is at the core of the eSight Intelligent Eyewear. With advanced video and graphics it has completely transformed the life of many legally blind people.
The first consideration for wearables and portable devices is its link to the cloud. The reason for this is that most wearables lack sufficient information display and interaction mechanisms. For this reason, they are often linked to the cloud, sometimes directly and other times via a smart phone where another device can configure the device and extract information.
WearableOS is a subset of the Unison RTOS which is optimized for wearables and portable devices. WearableOS has a broad set of connection options for sensors and communication nodes, and other features such as power management.
Wearables and Portable devices require critical thinking about power consumption. Batteries have limited energy and often this is a limiting factor for portability. When the design of the hardware and the WearableOS are tailored to power savings, minimization is possible. The extra battery life or lower weight can be an important differentiator and both are common complaints. For this reason Unison WearableOS contains several power management features.
Scaling a set of wearable and portable devices is also an important consideration. With multiple wearable devices per person and billions of people joining the Internet of Things revolution, the ability to have millions of devices is a key design feature. Can we scale to support tens of millions of users? is a realistic question. WearablesOS includes multiple mechanisms to link into the cloud and scale to tens of millions of units based on publish / subscribe / read / write capabilities and other communication models.
As important as scaling is how the device will communicate with the user. It is possible to use always on bright OLED displays with high resolution and full color but power is always a consideration. Touch buttons can be added but how many buttons can you have on a watch? Voice I/O can be used but is the processing power required to run the recognition sustainable from a power point of view? Are we going to do the processing in the cloud where compute power is infinite? If so, what will the communications power requirements be? These are all difficult tradeoffs and only by carefully balancing these can the correct value be added.
For all but the most specialized wearables, wireless support is mandatory. The Unison WearableOS package offers a range of wireless connectivity options depending on the system design. Most often Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is used because it provides a direct phone connection with fast connections and low power. Other options such as Bluetooth Classic are required for full audio communications while video requires WiFi and low data rate sensors can use 6loWPAN/802.15.4. Even 2G/3G/4G are available. Unison WearableOS has all the off the shelf wireless support that you need to get up and going immediately.
Display and input for wearables and portable devices is challenging. WearableOS has graphics, button, touch and voice options. Unison WearableOS has most of what you need for I/O off the shelf. Unison WearableOS reference design watch example illustrates the completeness of the Unison RTOS and WearableOS. See our reference design section for details.
A list of wearable and portable device applications is very broad and only limited by your imagination. Unison WearableOS has already been proven in many applications. From real-time video to help the blind see through sports motion detection and helping grandmothers live on their own, WearableOS has the features you need to make your vision a reality.
Wearables and Portable Devices have never been easier to build - try Unison RTOS - WearableOS today.
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