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Hillcrest develops MotionEngine Wear for IoT devices

30 Sep 2015  | R. Colin Johnson

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Wearable devices have been the hottest in the Internet of Things (IoT) market since smartphones drove growth in market size and volume. IDC Research predicts that wearable device shipments worldwide will reach 173.4 million units by 2019, a trend that Hillcrest Laboratories hope to contribute to.

Hillcrest Laboratories has released a version of the MotionEngine Wear, an IoT platform especially designed for always-on operation (without running down the battery) and with all the functions built-in that most wearables require.

The basic feature set includes accurate activity tracking, advanced sleep monitoring, context awareness, intuitive gesture controls, precise compass heading and orientation, plus Hillcrest will add any other special functions required by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

IDC Research

Wearable shipments will enjoy a 22.9 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2019, IDC predicts in the September 2015 Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker study.

"We will to create features particular to any vertical market segment, like we added a SensorFusion function for the smartphone market," Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hillcrest Labs said. "Today we're moving from smartphones to wearables with MotionEngine Wear SensorFusion plus a whole range of functions specific to wearables."

MotionEngine Wear

Hillcrest already offers complete solution for augmented and virtual reality and motion capture wrist-worn wearables using its BNO070 microcontroller, 9-axis sensor hub chip and firmware. However, its MotionEngine Wear software solution provides more sophisticated motion-tracking algorithms, including gesture recognition, sleep monitoring and navigation.

Hillcrest already has an all-in-one chip containing 9-degrees of freedom microelectromechanical system (MEMS) sensors called the BNO070 (manufactured in cooperation with Bosch), including an on-chip ARM Cortex-M processor with specialised MotionEngine functions pre-burned into firmware called SH-1, which is already being used by the augmented- and virtual-reality (AR/VR) markets (including the Razor OSVR VR headset kit).

Complete solution chart2

The MotionEngine Wear software enables developing wearables like the FitBit Flex, which has added seven sensors in its latest FitBit Surge, likewise Samsung's Galaxy S4, which has added two sensors in its Galaxy S6.


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