【Introduction】In this fast-changing world, everything is developing at an astonishing speed. Take wearables, for example, as technology continues to change, it makes it easier for us to keep track of useful information, making our lives seamless and easy. If you want to record and track your health, you can wear a smart watch or wear smart clothing; or a smart helmet that allows you to listen to music, use GPS or answer calls; or you want to unlock your car, car The keys can also be dispensed with, your smartphone or smartband can do it.
In this fast-changing world, everything is moving at an astonishing rate. Take wearables, for example, as technology continues to change, it makes it easier for us to keep track of useful information, making our lives seamless and easy. If you want to record and track your health, you can wear a smart watch or wear smart clothing; or a smart helmet that allows you to listen to music, use GPS or answer calls; or you want to unlock your car, car The keys can also be dispensed with, your smartphone or smartband can do it.
It sounds fantastic, but in fact these wearable technologies are entering our daily lives. Research firm IDC estimates that around 547 million wearable devices, including smartwatches, fitness trackers and more, will be sold worldwide in 2021, up 23 percent from 2020. IDC also predicts that by 2025, sales of wearable devices will reach 777 million units.
Figure 1: Global wearable device sales forecast,
Unit: million (Source: IDC)
The key factors driving the growth of the wearable technology market include consumer preference for cutting-edge devices and the growing popularity of IoT and connected devices. Furthermore, the adoption of wearable devices in multiple application areas and multi-functional and hybrid application mobile devices provide new opportunities for the growth of the wearable technology market.
As a result, Markets and Markets pointed out in its analysis report that the wearable technology market size is expected to grow from $116.2 billion in 2021 to $265.4 billion in 2026, an annual growth rate of up to 18%.
Six wearable tech trends for 2022
As more and more people make health and fitness a priority, the development of wearable technology has largely revolved around these applications. Taken together, wearable technology in 2022 will make progress in the following six directions.
The advent of wearable technology and its mass adoption in fitness trackers has spread to other areas such as medical wearables and related apparel or fashion products. Often, garments powered by Electronic devices (sensors and microcontrollers) are called smart garments or connected garments, and they are also part of the wearable device family.
Smart clothing is a new type of smart wearable device that adds high-tech new functions in addition to traditional uses. It can be connected to mobile phones and laptops through specific applications to record human activity indicators and key biometrics for people to check their health status at any time. The data detected by smart clothing includes but is not limited to vital signs, heart rate, sleep patterns, biometrics, and also includes some environmental data, such as UV exposure, carbon dioxide, etc.
According to market research by Markets and Markets, the smart clothing market is expected to grow from $1.6 billion in 2019 to $5.3 billion in 2022.
Most people find wearing a helmet boring or even reluctant to wear it. Now there are smart helmets with built-in speakers and GPS that use capacitive coupling to convert sound into vibrations, making it easy to listen to music even while riding. On top of that, these helmets can help you make calls, record cycling cadence, calorie burn, route, speed, and endurance.
According to global view research, the smart helmet market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18% from 2019 to 2022. This means that many people are turning to smart helmets for all kinds of fun and convenience while staying safe.
Smart glasses have been born for many years and are wearable devices with high market awareness. The new generation of smart glasses will fully integrate augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), cameras, Bluetooth, built-in earbuds, noise cancellation, face recognition, health perception, audio recording and other functions, and can do almost everything like a smartphone. task.
According to Statista, global AR glasses revenue is expected to reach approximately $19.7 billion by 2022.
With relatively low prices, smartwatches were once the hottest wearables on the market, whether as a mini-smartphone or as a fitness tracker. In the age of instant interaction, smartwatches can also help receive social media notifications. Health-conscious individuals can monitor their sleep, blood sugar levels, calories burned, blood pressure, and more using the right smartwatch.
With the advancement of technology, people’s pursuit of wearable devices will move further down from the wrist to the fingers, that is, to endow the jewelry with certain smart attributes. At that time, the smart ring worn on the finger can not only be used to record our health status, but also swipe card payment, receive social media notifications and so on. Business people who spend a lot of time in meetings and can’t easily check their phones are likely to be the original target customers of smart rings.
Today, most wearable devices on the market include health monitoring functions, and wearable solutions have made great progress in medical applications.
During this year’s CES in the United States, Abbott President and CEO Robert Ford announced the upcoming launch of a “biological wearable device” called Lingo. These implantable devices can track the body’s blood sugar, ketone, lactate and even alcohol levels to help people. Effective exercise, health and nutrition management. Wouldn’t it be cool to monitor and record your health in real time with a device implanted inside your body? Wouldn’t it be practical to combine blood glucose and heart rate monitoring into a smaller patch that patients wear on their skin?
In 2022, smart implanted devices that fit the human body better than smart eyes and smart watches are expected to form a wave of market hotspots.
Smart Payment Wearables
The global contactless payments market will be worth $18 billion by 2025, with smartphones and wearable technology in commerce being an important factor driving the market surge, according to analysis by Markets and Markets.
NFC or near field communication technology can connect smart devices to assets such as credit cards and prepaid debit cards. Integrating these technologies in wearable devices to provide electronic payment functions can greatly expand the application scope of wearable devices.
Wearable technology solution recommendation
Manufacturers will always face challenges when designing and developing new wearable devices, from safety, waterproof technology, battery and sensor protection, to providing comfort and durability to the skin, all factors must be considered. A complete wearable technology solution is very beneficial for manufacturers to seamlessly integrate high-tech requirements into devices.
01 Infineon’s rich wearable health technology solutions
Wearable health devices must be designed to be slim, portable, and easy to use. Other design factors include measurement accuracy, operational durability, and stability. In addition, a successful wearable health device must be safe, effective, efficient, ergonomic, and not compromise measurement accuracy under various conditions.
Infineon’s portfolio and solutions meet all of the above requirements: Infineon’s small sensors with extremely low energy consumption provide high-quality sports, health and activity monitoring services; RF products enable seamless connectivity and location tracking; wireless charging Make charging your device easier.
The privacy and security of user data collected by wearable devices are also very important. PSoC microcontroller is an ARM Cortex-M processor-based, built-in high-performance programmable analog module, PLD-based programmable digital module, Programmable interconnect and capacitive sensing solutions CapSense’s programmable embedded system-on-chip solutions with critical safety features. In addition, Infineon’s 60GHz radar solution is expected to be used in future health monitoring solutions such as blood pressure monitoring and vital sign sensing.
Figure 2: System block diagram of wearable health technology solution
(Image source: Infineon)
Figure 2 is the system block diagram of the wearable health technology solution. Except for the white box, Infineon’s products cover almost all the application modules involved in the solution. Among them, some representative products include:
● Infineon DPS368 is a small digital pressure sensor with ultra-high precision (±2 cm) and low power consumption, which can measure pressure and temperature at the same time, and can work normally under 50 meters of water for one hour.
● IM69D130 is a high-performance digital microphone, using Infineon’s dual-backplane MEMS technology, with a dynamic range of 105dB and a linear output of up to 130dBSPL, which can provide extremely clear audio signals.
● PSoC 61 is a true programmable embedded system-on-chip built on an ultra-low-power 40nm platform, featuring an Arm Cortex-M4 CPU, integrating configurable analog and digital peripherals, low-power flash technology , and CapSense touch and proximity application technology. Security is also built into the platform architecture, with hardware cryptographic accelerators, memory and perimeter protection units. It can be said that PSoC 61 is a product designed for IoT applications such as wearable devices, portable medical devices, and smart homes.
02 STMicroelectronics Wearable Payment Solutions
Wearable device manufacturers often face multiple challenges when designing best-in-class wearable devices, of which “security” and “contactless communication” are two important areas. From the ST31 secure microcontroller to the ST54 solution integrating an NFC controller, secure element and eSIM, STMicroelectronics’ products provide complete solutions for payment, shipping and many contactless services.
The ST31 dual interface security microcontroller is mainly targeted for high security applications such as banking, identification, pay TV and transportation. With the ARM SecurCore SC000 processor and an architecture optimized for contactless performance, the ST31 offers a broad product portfolio for secure and fast contactless transactions. At the same time, ST31 also supports multi-protocol RF interface, enhancing the versatility. Combined with ST’s NFC controller ST21NFC, the ST31 can meet various requirements for payment, transportation or multi-application integration in wearable devices.
Data protection and system security are increasingly important. ST33 is the industry’s first microcontroller with Arm SecurCore SC300 security processor. Its flexible architecture allows ST to implement new security chips such as Embedded SIM (eSIM), Embedded Security Element (eSE), and Trusted Platform Module (TPM). The development field is like a duck to water. ST33 series products provide enhanced design security and user-friendly form factor, combining convenience and strong network attack defense performance, and are the preferred embedded security for wearable devices, SIM card manufacturers, smartphones, security readers and other manufacturers. platform.
STPay-Mobile is a mobile payment platform solution launched by ST. The whole platform mainly runs on the ST54 SoC series. The platform simplifies the virtualization of transit and payment cards on smartphones and wearables while meeting the stringent security standards for such applications. Take the ST54J SoC as an example, which monolithically integrates a contactless front-end (CLF) circuit and a secure element (SE), creating a power-efficient, small-footprint solution for secure transactions on mobile devices.
Figure 3: ST wearable secure payment solution block diagram
(Image source: STMicroelectronics)
From ST31, ST33 secure microcontrollers, to STPay’s full range of NFC solutions based on the ST54 series, STMicroelectronics offers a complete set of pre-certified turnkey solutions for wearable smart payment functions.
Wearable technology has been around for nearly 30 years, with GPS or IMU (consisting of accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc.) sensors, which were mainly used in smartphones in the past, are gradually being integrated into dedicated wearable devices, making wearable The device has functions such as fitness tracking and physical health monitoring.
Now, wearable products have been subdivided into wristbands, headwear and glasses, rings, footwear, tights, jewelry and many other series. Markets and Markets data shows that the wristband market will reach $77.9 billion in 2021, but the head-mounted market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30% between 2021 and 2026, especially the momentum.
The further refinement of the market has led us to notice that products such as smart clothing, smart rings, and smart implanted devices, which currently do not have a high market share, are expected to gain a place in the next market. In addition, after solving the problems of security and convenience, smart payment is likely to become a must-have function of wearable devices.
Source: Mouser Electronics