u-blox: The Ideal Technology Partner for Wearables

Courtesy of u-blox

Wearable devices cover a diverse range of applications, but with many common needs. u-blox delivers best-in-class location, short range and wide area connectivity to meet these needs. Furthermore, we offer intelligent fusion of location and sensor information to deliver value-added applications and services.


At the heart of this wide range of wearable applications is real-time data collection, including body sensing, environmental and situational awareness. Sensing is the key enabler of intelligent wearables, and there is a wide variety of wearable sensors, with widely varying tasks. Such sensors include accelerometers, magnetometers & gyroscopes, heart rate monitors, live image sensors (cameras), impact, temperature and sound sensors. Wearable sensor development is a vital part of the future wearable landscape.

Location awareness and positioning

As a leader in precision, low power GNSS, u-blox is well positioned in wearables. We have complete ownership of the intellectual property (IP), which allows for the best control over the supply chain. Also, as we have a complete GNSS portfolio, we can serve all opportunities: chips for the greatest level of flexibility and system-in-packages (SiPs) for the best level of integration. Further, as we design GNSS stand-alone technology with all positioning algorithms inside, we remove dependences on a specific application processor and the need for heavy and power hungry signal processing.

Short range connectivity

u-blox delivers best-in-class short range (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) technologies tailored to fit wearables’ connectivity needs. Our short range modules are integral to connecting wearables to nearby devices and the internet.

Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity

Our cellular LPWAN technology (LTE and NB-IoT) is designed in-house from the ground up and isn’t adapted from existing LTE Cat 4 silicon or modules to serve lower speed market needs. We offer low-speed LTE CAT-NB1 (NB-IoT) for ultra-low power devices, moderate speed LTE CAT-M1 for low-power always-on wearables, and higher speed LTE CAT-1 for powerful smart wearables. Since we develop both chips and modules, we are uniquely positioned to specify customized needs for the wearable market without having to rely on life-cycle lengths of third party suppliers. Our LARA-R3 module – based on our own LTE Cat 1 chipset – is ideal for high-end smart wearables. With in-built features such as end-to-end security and embedded uCPU, we aim to reduce your size, time-to-market and system cost.

Small size & battery optimization

Primary design factors for wearable devices are ultra-small size and ultra-low power consumption, both for the end-device and for its components. We understand these needs; in fact, our roadmap to ultra-low power, low cost, highly integrated cellular products is targeted specifically at wearable applications. We offer the world’s smallest Cat M1 modules as well as market-leading Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) modules tailored for low power, low cost, and IoT communication. Further, we are the leading low power positioning technology thanks to our Super-E mode, which offers the best balance on power versus performance. And we are also focused on small GNSS solution size; our ZOE form factor is the smallest GNSS sensor in the market.
As we focus on balancing size, power, cost and performance, we can enable your future requirements for smart devices and we offer you scalability in your designs.

One supplier

With u-blox as your partner, you get a full portfolio of wireless and positioning technologies to collect the data and securely transmit it wirelessly. Since you get it from the same source, you also have the possibility to seamlessly combine these technologies in one solution. We focus on platform optimizations; for instance, GNSS + cellular location, uCPU embedded application, sensor support, wide-area vs short range co-existence, and integrated GNSS + Bluetooth.

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