2016 Interactive Wearables: From Taylor Swift to the Stanley Cup!

06-23-2016

If you’ve been to a major concert lately, or perhaps watched the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup finals you’ve either worn or undoubtedly noticed the attendees wearing colorful lighted wristbands pulsating to the events lighting or sound. PixMob (pixmob.com), a leader in this thriving crowd experience wearable technology space is connecting audiences with events giving attendees the feeling of participation like they’ve never experienced before.

The printed circuit board example below is from a wristband that one of my daughters received when attending a Taylor Swift concert during Swift’s 2015 “1989” world tour. More examples of the different types of events where Pixmob devices have been distributed can be found here: pixmob.com/project. Of course I could not wait to take it apart and get a good look at the guts of this device.

pixmob-520x243.jpg

The PCB encased in this wearable wristband as you can imagine is quite small measuring approx .75 X 1.38. The component side of the PCB (shown above) has a surface mount RGB (LED3) centered. Two additional through-hole style RGB’s (LED1 & LED2) are mounted on each end. I initially thought I might discover some type of RF micro device being used to control the unit but instead found a wireless IR detector (IC2), seen in the lower right mounted from the rear with the leads bent 90 degrees to be forward facing.

Just left of the centered SMT LED (LED3) is a tiny microcontroller (no ref des?) by ABOV  (MC81F4204  1509). It is a CMOS 8 -bit MCU which provides a 4 KB FLASH-ROM and 192 B RAM. It’s major features are a 12-bit ADC with a 7(5)-ch A/D Converter which can be used to measure minute electronic voltage and currents.

So, what controls these devices and how many wristbands can be controlled at a time? The example I have is the over 1500 attendee version. By simply connecting a Pixmob device called a PRO node to the events lighting board the lighting tech can create various colorful visual effects including waves, crossfades, strobes, and shimmers. This PRO node also offers global, grouped, or individual control of the objects. (see pixmob.com/solutions/ignite/) Alternately, a video node can be connected to a video server that controls the colors of the wearable devices in relation to stage lighting even changing color locations to create a global video image. The Pixmob under 1500 attendee version by the way is not controlled by IR but rather an amplified Bluetooth transmitter.

The back of the PCB, not shown, has a large circular contact area where two lithium CR2032 batteries are stacked. These are commonly used as a CMOS battery in things like calculators, remote controls, wireless doorbells, garage door remotes, watches and other small devices.

Interactive wearable technology is very cool and provides event attendees a unique immersive experience that extend the show from the stage to the stands. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

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2016

2016 Interactive Wearables: From Taylor Swift to the Stanley Cup!

06-23-2016

If you’ve been to a major concert lately, or perhaps watched the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup finals you’ve either worn or undoubtedly noticed the attendees wearing colorful lighted wristbands pulsating to the events lighting or sound. PixMob (pixmob.com), a leader in this thriving crowd experience wearable technology space is connecting audiences with events giving attendees the feeling of participation like they’ve never experienced before.

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Chicken Dots, Mouse Bites and Jellybeans

04-28-2016

Folks who have been around PCB design for years have used many terms and descriptions for different aspects and features of design. Over three or four decades, terms like ruby (for rubylith) and Bishop Graphics (tape, dots and stick-on decals) are now considered old-school. I'd like to share some PCB design terms, slang, and and some other unusual terms I have heard over the years.

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Now We're Talking!

04-18-2016

We are all aware of the importance of networking both personally and professionally. Networking with your peers within an online global user community provides an open forum to get information, collaborate and learn more.

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Easter Eggs On Your PCB or Chips?

03-23-2016

Have you ever placed or hidden an Easter egg on a PCB or in a chip design? For as long as I can recall, I’ve heard about what is most commonly referred to as “Easter eggs” in electronics design.

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DFMA - Integrated DFM Analysis in PADS

03-22-2016

In this post, I’ll dive specifically into how the DFM analysis solution directly integrated within the PADS product creation platform enables PCB designers to resolve production issues during design. Thus eliminating re-spins and saving you time in product release schedules and money.

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Search, Select, and Place Components Quickly with PartQuest

03-01-2016

PartQuest enables designers to get product designs off to a fast start with access to more than 680,000 manufacturer parts available from Digi-Key®. Search filters enable you to perform as narrow or precise of a component search as you want. Locate the parts you need fast and download the schematic symbols and land patterns you need for free to get your design started.

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2015

Tech the Halls! 3 Gadgets That Stood Out the Most

12-30-2015

The gifts are all exchanged, the Christmas tree is getting dry and the weather here in North Carolina feels more like a mild Fall day than winter. In fact, the trees in this area have started to blossom seemingly fooled into thinking that it must be Spring. As for me, I prefer colder weather around the Christmas holidays, but being able to wear shorts, a t-shirt and go for a run is nice too.

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5 Key Advantages of 3D PCB Layout

11-09-2015

Having a 3D view in PCB design tools is not new. However, 3D capabilities have greatly evolved over the past five years or so. What was once a “nicety” is now vital to the PCB design work environment.

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PCB Tech Talk Podcast: Addressing the Aging PCB Design Workforce

11-01-2015

We received a lot of great feedback from listeners regarding the question proposed in episode three about whether or not PCB designers are becoming a vanishing breed so in this episode, we hear from our listeners! More on that from the podcast producer, Brittany Bach, below.

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PCB Tech Talk Podcast: PCB Design Trends and How to Enter the Technology Leadership Awards

09-24-2015

In the fourth episode of PCB Tech Talk, I speak with special guest, David Wiens (Business Development Manager, System Design Division at Mentor Graphics) about PCB industry trends and the 26th annual Technology Leadership Awards (TLAs).

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All PCB Tech Talk Podcast Episodes are Now Available on iTunes!

09-15-2015

Search “PCB Tech Talk” in iTunes or the Podcasts app to listen to episodes and subscribe. If you subscribe, all new episodes will automatically populate.

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Exercising Your Options

06-29-2015

I’ve had the privileged in my career to design PCB’s for a couple of cutting edge networking start-up companies and some well known public companies that includes the (as defined by wiki) worldwide leader in networking equipment for the internet. I’ve also been “that designer” that does it all including the ECAD and MCAD physical design. I’ve also been the guy on the other side of the wall responsible for PCB layout only.

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Setting the Standard for PCB Design Tool Solutions

06-19-2015

No matter if you are part of a small team focusing on just one aspect of the PCB design flow or you are “THAT designer” who can do it all – PADS has the right solution at the right price for you!

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Announcing the PCB Tech Talk Podcast!

06-15-2015

PCB Tech Talk: Episode 1 – The New Path to PCB Routing Success

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4 Component Library White Papers that You'll Keep on File!

06-06-2015

If you’re a PCB Librarian, PCB Designer, ECAD Engineer, NPIE, new to PCB design, involved in PCB manufacturing or anywhere in-between you’ll want to keep these four white papers on file for future reference and guidance.

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