Barometric pressure sensor tracks altitude in harsh conditions

Barometric pressure sensors are a key component in fitness tracking wearables, to determine altitude. Bosch Sensortec has introduced the BMP585 robust barometric pressure sensor that can be used under water and in harsh environments.

It has a liquid-proof gel cover, which means it can be used in wearables that will be exposed to water or other liquids, including salt water and chlorinated water in swimming pools. It includes all the features of Bosch’s existing BMP581 pressure sensor with robustness and low power consumption ensures long battery life in wearables, hearables, and portable applications.

The sensor measures a change in height of just a few centimetres. It can therefore detect movements in fitness training down to the level of individual pull-ups or push-ups. “At the same time, users do not have to worry about environmental conditions – thanks to its ruggedness,” said Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec. 

The BMP585 provides reliable mapping data for distance travelled and meters of altitude for hiking or running trips, thus supporting GPS data and enabling accurate localisation and navigation.

With its resistance to water and chemicals, the BMP585 is also suitable for a variety of industrial use cases such as liquid-level detection. The seal blocks access to dust for clog detection in home appliances such as vacuum cleaners.

The BMP585 provides excellent relative accuracy of ±0.06hPa and typical absolute accuracy of ±0.5hPa. The BMP585 has a typical temperature co-efficient offset (TCO) of just ±0.5Pa/K and low RMS noise of 0.08Pa at 1000hPa (typical). Long-term drift over 12 months is only ±0.2hPa.

Typical current consumption of just 1.3 microA at 1Hz data rate substantially extends battery life, said Bosch Sensortec. The BMP585 offers an I2C, I3C and SPI digital, serial interface.

The BMP585 is provided in a compact nine-pin LGA package with a metal lid, measuring just 3.25 x 3.25 x 1.86 mm³, small enough to use in smartwatches and other wearables.

The BMP585 is available in Q2 2023.

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