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Monday, 13th April 2015
In Business In Japan,

Fujitsu develops Bluetooth beacon that can bend and stretch

Fujitsu Laboratories has announced that it has developed a new Bluetooth smart beacon that can be bent and stretched.

Powered by a solar battery, the device's battery won't need to be replaced. Wireless modules usually have used up large amounts of electricity when starting up, before communications can even start up, but if they are powered by solar batteries, then they will need large-size power storage elements and a power supply control circuit to check if enough electricity is stored in the storage. Because of these elements and circuits being so big, beacons have in the past been difficult to bend and stretch - until now.

Fujitsu has been able to develop new power supply technology that temporarily halts the power supply monitoring function before communications begin. This in turn helps to reduce power consumption and the energy saved will be used to initiate communications. Because of all of this, the power storage elements have been cut in size by a ninth and the power supply control circuits are a sixth of the size they used to be.

The bendable beacon was then mounted on thin-film solar cells on a stretchable silicon sheet. The new beacon's thickness and weight are 2.5 millimeters and three grams respectively.

Japanese firm Fujitsu now hopes to commercialise the beacon next year, once its stability and reliability has been confirmed. The beacon will be able to be installed on ceilings, in lighting equipment and other places where it would usually be tricky, such as clothes, humans and surfaces that change shape.

This comes just a few weeks after the firm revealed it was using liquid cooling in its smartphones to draw away heat much better. Believing that pumps won't work well in smaller places, as seen in laptops, this technology will be adopted to increase density in its M10 family of SPARC servers.

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Fujitsu unveils drowsiness gadget for drivers (29th January 2015)