With its combination of wireless, low-power processing and MEMS, few personal fitness monitors are as hot as the FitBit, which is why it’s going under the knife at this week’s ESC in Boston on Tuesday. However, this isn’t just another teardown: not by a long shot.
Why not? Well, along with the usual discussion of the device’s innards, the challenges the designers faced and the techniques and components they employed to overcome those challenges, I’ve managed to pull together a panel of experts from the three technology areas at the heart of the FitBit’s success:
Representing MEMS is Mark DiPerri, field applications engineer at Freescale Semiconductor.
On behalf of wireless comes N. Venkatesh, VP of advanced wireless technologies at embedded Wi-Fi startup Redpine Signals.
And finally, straddling the worlds of low-power processing (MCUs), wireless and MEMS hails Olin Lathrop, principal at Embed Inc., who has led designs encompassing all three areas.
You've probably noticed, wireless + MEMS + low-power MCUs is a good starting point for success, given the pull for all sorts of spatially and motion-aware devices. You've also probably got a million ideas bouncing around in your head as to how to take advantage of any combination of those technologies, so with these three lined up to discuss the issues you may face in implementing any embedded design you may be contemplating, it’s safe to say I’ll be eager to get to the Q&A session. And I’m hoping you will be too.
So, drop by ESC Theater 2 at 2 pm on Tuesday and bring your design concerns with you: Mark, Narasimhan and Olin have been where you are, so after my FitBit ‘case study’ they’ll be only too happy to dig into the issues. And so will I: See you there!
Thanks for the link. That was a nice & concise piece of information.
I was curious about how others reacted to the event - just wanted to have generic feedback about the direction in which the attendees were thinking about this product.
The linked article says quite some things & I like it a lot.
Hi Jagdish, I thought you'd never ask! I posted a follow-up article that included some of what I'd gathered beforehand, as well as bits and pieces from the event itself that answers many of the questions that arose. That story is posted here: http://www.eetimes.com/design/smart-energy-design/4208733/FitBit--A-study-in-design-choices-and-consequences
Is there a specific area of interest to you?
I missed this event, so could not post any questions. Can you put some of the questions/issues that came during this event at the ESC ?
It would be interesting to know what others feel about this technology/application.
The designers of the FitBit encountered many issues, mostly related to their choice to go wireless, versus tethered. They also made some pretty interesting MEMS and MCU choices. I'll get into those challenges and how they were overcome on Tuesday, but for the panel afterward, which has experts from all three areas, I'm interested in hearing what questions you may have that may help you in your next design. Let me know here and I'll gladly ask the panel and report back to you.
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