Varta announces rechargeable batteries for hearing aids

Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries with a high-energy density and capacity will be unveiled at the Wearable Technologies Conference in San Francisco for wearables and hearables (hearing aids, over-ear headphones and wireless telephony ear buds).

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Wearable Technology Takes Advantage of Low Power Conversion in Health and Wellbeing

Once as simple as a walking or running step counter – or pedometer – wearable devices have become more advanced – or smart – seemingly overnight. From vibration-from-speech generating vests for the deaf to Google Glass to advanced fitness activity trackers to night vision equipment and even heads-up imaging displays, wearable devices have become a part of the mainstream consumer, military, and industrial markets. A “wearable” can be defined as a product that is worn by the user for an extended period of time and in some way, enhances the user’s experience as a result of the product being worn. A “smart” wearable adds connectivity and independent data processing capability to the device. Wearables are divided into four application sub-categories: fitness/wellness (activity monitors, fitness bands, foot pods and heart rate monitors), infotainment (smart glasses/goggles, smart watches and imaging devices), military (night vision equipment, heads-up displays, exo-skeletons and smart clothing), and industrial (body-worn terminals) [Source: IHS Electronics and Media, 2013]. These categories have different market forces driving their adoption rates. For military, it’s the desire to improve situational awareness, maps/routes, combat efficiency and save lives. For industrial, the main drivers are improving production line efficiency and tracking capability. For infotainment, it’s the continually exploding gaming market with cutting edge imaging and virtual reality, as well as the increasing number of devices able to connect wirelessly to smart phones to become part of the “internet of things” (IoT). Finally, for the wellness and medical segments, the key driving forces include: rising life expectancy, curtailing escalating medical and insurance costs, the desire to prolong a healthy life and to reduce hospital stays.

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Nanopower PMICs extend battery life for IoT applications

Two integrated nanopower PMICs for IoT applications, the DA9070 and DA9073, have been released by Dialog. The PMICs are designed for ‘always-on’ IoT devices such as fitness trackers, smartwatches and smart home products which are expected to spend less time tethered to a charger, while expanding feature sets present new challenges to battery life. 

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LDO extends portable devices’ battery life

Prolonging battery life by up to four times longer than traditional low quiescent (Iq) LDOs, the MCP1811 is a linear low dropout (LDO) regulator available from Microchip. It enables reduced standby power consumption in remote, battery-powered sensor nodes and also enables faster response times and transient response for IoT, wearable and remote designs, says Microchip.

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