Sensor hubs merge optical and MEMS signals for health, fitness devices

February 23, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Bosch Sensortec has introduced vital sensor hubs for wearables that enable heart rate and motion evaluation for fitness and wellbeing applications with enhanced user experience; Devices form a programmable platform for vital sensing, sensor fusion and always-on sensor processing and connect to vital analytics software from Firstbeat.

This, according to Bosch Sensortec, is its first generation of sensor hub products with optimised vital [as in; vital signs] sensing features. These devices merge photoplethysmography (PPG) signals with onboard inertial MEMS sensors signals for robust, motion compensated heart rate measurement and provide insights into wellbeing and fitness level using Firstbeat’s vital analytics algorithms.

BHV250 and BHV160 sensors are designed for always-on sensor enabled wearable applications such as fitness wristbands, earphones and smart textiles. As a complete sensor solution they feature ultra-low power consumption in a compact package, with integrated software and a wide-range support for different PPG chipsets. The integrated software from Firstbeat processes raw sensor data for motion-compensated vital monitoring, activity recognition applications and gesture based user interfaces.

The combination of Bosch’s Vital Sensor Hubs with Firstbeat’s vital analytics software provides tools for sleep analysis, calorie consumption calculation, fitness training evaluation, and "stress and recovery" monitoring.

BHV250 and BHV160 integrate innovative 3- respectively 6-axis inertial MEMS sensors designed around the Bosch Sensortec DSP ‘Fuser Core’ powering Firstbeat’s vital analytics software. Both devices include an accelerometer, and the BHV160 also includes a gyroscope.

The Android Wear-compatible sensor hubs are presented as the components with the lowest power consumption available on the market. The sensor hubs have tiny footprints that are indispensable for applications where space is tight. The BHV160 measures 3 x 3 x 0.95 mm, while the BHV250 only a mere 2.2 x 2.2 x 0.95 mm.

A video clip is here;

Firstbeat Technologies;

Bosch Sensortec;