In order to help social-fitness fans stay motivated, STMicroelectronics has introduced smart motion sensors that enable always-on tracking applications to run for longer and record progress more accurately.
These sensors, the LIS2DS12 3-axis 'pico' accelerometer, LSM6DSL/M 6-axis inertial module, and the LSM303AH eCompass help track movement continuously with minimal impact on device battery life by performing various motion-related calculations efficiently on-chip instead of using the main system processor. Pre-embedded algorithms that include high-precision pedometer, step detection, step counting, and significant motion and tilt detection effectively reduce engineering effort and accelerate time to market for imaginative new apps on devices such as fitness bands, medical monitors, personal navigation and Internet of Things (IoT) nodes, in addition to smartphones and wearable devices.
ST’s smart motion sensors are already integrated in several smartphones to enable WeRun, a new feature of the WeChat messaging app used by more than 90% of people in China’s largest cities. “WeRun turns physical activity into a social pursuit, helping smartphone and wearable device users stay healthy,” commented Andrea Onetti, Group Vice President and General Manager, MEMS Sensors Division, STMicroelectronics. “ST’s smart motion sensors enable WeRun to track movements continuously, never missing a step, while preserving battery energy to power the device for longer. This enhances usability and helps attract more subscribers.”
ST’s sensor device with the on-board pedometer suiting the WeRun app, the LSM303AH eCompass combines an accelerometer with a magnetic sensor that more than doubles the heading accuracy of other eCompass or pure magnetometer solutions tested at the same geographical latitudes. Combined with the continuous accurate step monitoring, this ensures precise location awareness by dead reckoning where there is no GPS signal, such as in offices, car parks, or shopping malls. In addition, ST has engineered advanced software that simplifies user calibration of the temperature drift and the magnetic sensor.
ST’s smart sensors also implement selectable power modes and resolution that help optimise energy efficiency and performance. Additional features that simplify system design include an embedded FIFO, built-in self-test, integrated temperature sensor, and programmable interrupts for conditions such as freefall. The LIS2DS12, LSM6DSL/M, and LSM303AH smart sensors are in production now.