I*O*T

"Internet-of-things" devices are getting smaller and their functionality is increasing daily. WTSi helps you capture your IOT market and keep it.

TESTING

WTSi believes in test-driven electronic product development. We start your project with qualification testing in mind.

CODE

Your code needs to be robust and extensible. At WTSi, we help you plan for your future software development needs. 

Prototypes

When the design is done and its time to get physical, WTSi goes the extra mile to get it right the first time.   

Apps

Anyone with a smartphone is your potential new customer.  Let WTSi design *your* device and smartphone app for the Internet-of-Things revolution!

Plastics

High strength, rigid, fatique resistant, transparent, flexible, scratch resistant, low shrinkage, heat resistant, chemical resistant and more.

Health&Fitness  M2M   Medical/Bio-Tech  AssetTracking  

WTSi has been involved in a wide variety of product development and R&D projects over the last 25 years.  Below are only a fewof the markets where we have been active and are continuing to provide viable electronic product solutions.

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

    

The Health & Fitness industry has been growing steadily for forty years and, now that more people are carrying smartphones, a new life has been given to the legacy products in this market.  All modern smartphones are enabled with Blue Tooth Low Energy today and this communications protocol has quickly replaced the ANT protocol (Garmin, et. al.)  and other less popular and proprietary communications protocols. This is good news for consumers because it is yet another feature for their smartphone: the ability to collect and store data from wireless devices mounted on their bicycle, wristwatch or other exercise equipment.  This is good news to our customer's also as it opens up yet another potential revenue stream in the Health & Fitness market - not just the marketing of new devices, but the ability to create (or join) an 'eco-system' of Health & Fitness devices where data can be gathered, displayed, and stored locally on the smartphone and optionally uploaded to a dedicated server and viewed on an internet webpage.  WTSi is here to help you create a complete device-to-phone-to-web system for your customers. 

Health&Fitness  M2M   Medical/Bio-Tech  AssetTracking  

 

 

MACHINE-TO-MACHINE (M2M)

Electronic product development for machine-to-machine devices typically involves considerations for a much harsher physical and electrical environment. The enclosures often have very specific requirements in regards to durability, chemical-resistance, weather/water-proofing and more.  Also, the electrical environment can have multiple noise sources such as electrical motors,  power switches, and other noise sources.  Additionally, due to a significant amount of metal in the environment,  a phenomenon called 'multi-path' can exist where a wireless signal will have interference from a reflected version of the same transmitted signal at the receiver.  These issues all need to be addressed to ensure your product's long-term market viability.

Health&Fitness  M2M   Medical/Bio-Tech  AssetTracking  

 

 

MEDICAL DEVICES / BIO-TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH

    

Medical devices have the additional challenge of requiring FDA approval.   WTSi partners with specialized  FDA medical device consultants and manufacturers to ensure your device not only gets FDA approval but satisfies all of your requirements and gives your customer's a unique and satisfactory experience.  Typically, there are two components to medical device product realization:  that which is typical of all handheld or desktop products ( embedded software and firmware,  power management, displays, wireless interconnectivity, etc.) and the additional design that makes the device unique.  The latter component, and specifically 'nanotechnology' is the focus of much excitement in the medical device community where large amounts of investment are fueling medical device research.

With the advent of nano-technology (and more recently the processes to inexpensively create nanoscale materials) has come the creation and research of nano-scale biosensors which are activated by the physical contact of blood (or other bodily fluids) directly with the nano-scale semiconductor material itself.  Nano-'wires' can be created which function as field-effect-transistors.  The somewhat generic nanoFETSs are then go through the process of 'functionalization' which determines the nanoFETs sensitivity to very specific components of the blood including specific proteins, sugars, mineral ions, hormones and other blood components.   As can be imagined, R&D in this arena is a multi-disciplined effort and at the root of this research is the electro-chemical reaction at the semiconductor surface(s).  The challenge in these systems is to separate the desired signal from the system noise.  The desired signal is simply the change in electrical current through the functionalized nanoFET.  The noise is due to the dynamic and unavoidable electro-chemical interactions between all the extraneous fluid components, metals, and semiconductor materials surrounding the nanoFET itself.  

As can be imagined, the change in electrical current in the nanoFET can be in the fempto-amp range (10E-12 amps).  Extreme methodologies in circuit design, PCB layout, and mechanical design need to be undertaken to ensure that the signal of interest can be isolated and the system noise is mitigated to the largest degree possible.  WTSi is committed to nanotechnology and biosensor research and can help you design a system to meet your needs.

Health&Fitness  M2M   Medical/Bio-Tech  AssetTracking  

 

 

ASSET TRACKING

Asset tracking is a very broad subject depending on several factors:

  • localization - the resolution to which you need to locate your asset (i.e. is it within a city block or is it knowing which toll lane the vehicle is in on the expressway?)
  • can you guarantee a constant view of the open sky (for GPS)?
  • target manufacturing costs of your device (e.g. can it bear the expense of a cell modem?)
  • power - is your device powered by a coin cell, a rechargeable battery, or an automobile?
  • is your system open or closed? that is,  do your devices leave and re-enter a controlled area

These and many other questions need to be answered when choosing the technology that best supports your system.  That said, many technologies, and combinations of technologies, are used for asset tracking including RFID, GPS, cellular networks, Zigbee mesh networks, and more recent technologies such as 6LoWPAN, RPMA, and NB-IoT.  Let WTSi help you decide which technology (and technology provider) is right for you. 

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that has been around for quite some time.  WTSi has been involved with this technology for over seventeen years in both the active and passive incarnations of this technology.  Active RFID requires a power source for RF transmission while passive RFID harvests the energy in the electromagnetic field and thus requires no power source.  Near-field-communication (NFC) is a hybrid solution of both the active and passive technologies.  The primary feature of this technology is the ability to track the RFID device.  A minimal RFID system requires both an RFID 'reader' and an RFID 'device', however there are typically many devices per reader in a typical system.  With a multiple-reader system, the RFID devices are allowed to 'roam' - exiting the RF field on one reader and then entering the RF field of another reader.  An example of this would be the tracking of RFID-device-equipped vehicles entering and exiting a toll road or packages entering and leaving a warehouse.  Typically, systems specifications for an RFID system include the 'minimum range' spec (the minimum distance between the reader and device for reliable communications) and a 'localization' spec (the resolution to which the RFID device can be geographically tracked).  RFID devices are unique in there ability to operate on very low power sources and as such they typical transmit very weak RF signals. Thus, the RFID reader must be designed to separate this weak signal from the environmental noise radiating from other radio-frequency device (including other co-located RFID readers).  Many techniques are used to mitigate this interference including everything from a well tailored 'frequency plan' which efficiently and effectively utilizes the allowable RF spectrum to frequency hopping techniques.  The RFID workspace co-locates many industry-standard RFID communications protocols alongside many RFID proprietary (non-standard) communications protocols and a well-thought out system design is crucial to your success.

Additionally, with the advent of IoT (the "Internet-of-Things")  cellular networks and GPS solutions are now likely a big part of your solution.  Big players like AT&T, Apple, and Android offer solutions but many smaller companies are offering more flexible and affordable solutions for the average user.  

Health&Fitness  M2M   Medical/Bio-Tech  AssetTracking

 

 

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