Valencell, STMicroelectronics launch biometric wearables devkit

Biometric wearables technology got a boost with the launch of a new development kit that improves accuracy and scalability.

The new devkit was announced by chipmaker STMicroelectronics (ST) and Valencell, a maker of biometric data sensor technology.

The development kit is aimed at accelerating the development of smart wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) products.

The kit will involve ST’s SensorTile multi-sensor module that incorporates various IoT capabilities. The tiny module includes a Bluetooth Low Energy chipset, various motion and environmental MEMS sensors, a digital MEMS microphone and a powerful STM32L4 microcontroller.

The kit will also include the Valencell Benchmark biometric sensor platform in order to support the development of advanced wearable products.

“Valencell’s Benchmark solution leverages the high accuracy of ST’s MEMS sensor technology along with SensorTile’s miniature form factor, flexibility, and STM32 Open Development Environment-based ecosystem,” said STMicroelectronics’ Tony Keirouz. “Combined, SensorTile and Benchmark enable wearable makers to quickly and easily develop the perfect product for any application that integrates highly accurate biometrics.”

Valencell aiming for simpler prototyping

The integration of Valencell’s Benchmark sensor tech with ST’s SensorTile development kit is aimed at simplifying the prototyping and evaluation of new wearable IoT products.

“Working with ST has allowed us to bring together the best of all sensors required to support the most advanced wearable use cases through our groundbreaking Benchmark sensor system,” said Valencell president Steven LeBoeuf.”What attracted us to the SensorTile was the flexibility of the platform and the ultra-low power consumption, which will enable our customers to create highly-accurate and powerful wearables and hearables in any form factor.”

The collaboration comes against the backdrop of a cooling wearables market in North America and an improving wearables outlook in China.

In fact, an earlier report indicated that China may become the world’s largest wearable customer in 2017, if sales continue to surge as they have in 2016. In the past year, the country has seen an 84% increase in wearable sales, reaching 9.5 million between April and June this year.1

Analyst firm IDC predicted 101 million wearable sales in 2016. Chima might take 30% of the entire wearable market in the next year, if sales in North America and Europe remain the same.

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