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French collaboration focuses on wearable positioning

Posted: 16 Apr 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Movea  positioning  GPS  wearable 

Movea SA takes another step forward in the wearables segment, embarking on a collaboration this time to develop an inertial measurement device that enables a pedestrian dead reckoning without the global positioning system (GPS).

Only earlier this year, Movea undertook design collaboration for a wearable device. It partnered with Texas Instruments and Xm-Squared to develop a wristband reference design for sports and wellness applications. (See: Movea reveals reference design aimed at wearables)

The company will work with Grenoble-based Tronics Microsystems SA and the Leti and List research instates. The fourth member of the collaboration, and the only one not based in Grenoble, is aerospace and military consultancy EASII IC.

Named as Advanced and Smart Inertial Measurement Unit (ASIMUT) project, the company said that the team plans to spend $8.5 million over three years. They will build a module that employs sensors, processor, and data fusion algorithms. The module will then be integrated into a wearable device that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth to measure the location and movements of people inside buildings and in other areas where GPS is not available.

Current dead-reckoning systems, based on inertial sensors for step counting and a pressure sensor for estimating vertical movement, are reportedly poor when used for prolonged periods as errors build up.

Applications for the technology include tracking activities such as lone worker safety inside a building or tracking firefighters, police and security workers during an emergency situation. The platform will also enable more commercial applications such as augmented reality displays for use in museums and shopping malls.

The company will provide the software for the module and Tronics will provide the MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes. EASII IC will build the industrial prototypes of the wearable device. First demonstrations are expected in the middle of 2015.

- Peter Clarke
  EE Times Europe





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