Approximately 75% of people will lose a pair of spectacles or sunglasses in any given year, costing approximately $18 billion and contributing tens of thousands of tonnes of waste into the environment annually. While this is an inconvenience for most, losing prescription glasses can be a real burden. Tzukuri created a solution to this problem - lightweight and stylishly designed spectacles with a tiny Bluetooth beacon. If you leave your spectacles behind, the app will notify you with an auditory warning and if you go out of the range it saves the last place you left them.
The engineering challenge involved creating an ultra-miniature PCB that would fit inside the arm of the glasses. This dictated the device use as few components as possible, with the smallest possible option for each. A custom Bluetooth integrated circuit supports operation of the antenna, which was difficult to achieve without a substantial ground plane.
A key element in the solution was to create a battery charging dock that transferred as much of the charging hardware from the glasses to the dock. A three pin connector embedded in the end of the spectacle arm provides an aesthetic solution to connect the glasses to the charging dock.
A small silver-zinc battery was chosen to power the glasses, due to its improved safety compared to standard lithium polymer batteries. The product was designed for low power consumption to achieve a targeted 30-day battery life from a single charge of the 20mAh, 1.8-volt battery.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of this project was to devise a manufacturing solution to support the small size of the PCA. Normally the programming port of the microcontroller is included on the PCA. Instead, Genesys designed the system to undertake programming for a whole panel of PCAs with just one port per panel.
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