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Bluetooth-enabled wearable sensor technologies

The lightweight and low-power PIQ sports wearable device for performance measurement and coaching, launched to golf and tennis communities during 2015, relies on key sense, control, and communication technologies from STMicroelectronics.

By tracking hand and wrist movement in multiple axes for accurate 3D analysis, the PIQ multi-sport sensor helps improve performance and technique. The 44mm x 39mm x 5mm device, weighing just 10 grams, is worn easily in a wristband, clipped to a golf glove, or integrated into a strap.

The PIQ team chose ST’s efficient and high-performing STM32F4 microcontroller for the multi-sport sensor’s main controller to achieve the peak performance needed for complex processing of sensor data. The STM32F4’s rich set of power-management features helped cut power consumption to the absolute minimum, to maximize battery lifetime, which is a critical parameter in wearables.

PIQ’s Bluetooth wireless subsystem connects to the user’s smartphone using ST’s BlueNRG Bluetooth Smart wireless controller. BlueNRG has low power consumption, and saves space when teamed with the BALF-NRG companion chip for connecting the radio aerial. BALF-NRG leverages ST’s IPD Integrated Passive Devices expertise, occupying as little as 1.19mm2 on the circuit board while also enhancing wireless performance.

The STM32F4, STM32F0, and BlueNRG Bluetooth IC all feature ARM Cortex-M cores. 

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