External Devices

External Devices

Whether for a fashion statement, a navigational tool, health monitoring, or home security, the age of the wearable is already here.  Customers adore the convenience and ease in which a well designed system can fit into their lives.  While people are still in the early adopter phase, that is quickly changing because different industries are designing their products to be connectable and/or wearable, consistent with market demand.

Developing mobile applications for external devices and/or wearables utilizes protocols such as ZigBee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other custom protocols depending upon the use case.  Additionally, the following technologies can be explored for richer feature sets.

  • Mesh-Networking – With lower powered devices and battery longevity requirements comes reduced range which is overcome by the concept of the mesh network.  Every node is not just a receiver, but a transmitter as well.  For example, the user can send information to one lightbulb in a house that will in turn route that around from bulb to bulb till it reaches its destination.  This kind of network is also self-healing and reliable since it allows connections to be rerouted around faulty nodes.
  • NFC – A chip in smartphones and some watches with the potential to be more included in a wider variety of devices.  It enables the device to exchange information within 20cm of each other.  It is currently well known for making encrypted financial transactions but can be utilized for a wide variety of applications.
  • Mini Beaming – Technology that can project digital images onto a nearby viewing surface.  Coupled with video cameras and vision algorithms, this device can track hand gestures and instead of tapping on the smartphone screen, the user is tapping a projected digital image.

As with any technological change, early involvement will optimize its use and create its success.

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