Consumer

EDN Staff

A resources site and community for engineers involved in the design and development of consumer home or mobile electronics hardware and software.  Find design tips, new product information and discussion on consumer audio, video, multimedia, gaming, communications, computing, and home appliances.

Teardown: Bluetooth controller for low-cost VR

You can get VR on a budget with a smartphone, an inexpensive Google Cardboard headset, and an even more inexpensive Bluetooth controller ... if the controller works. Read More...

The Moto 360: Premature obsolescence out of design necessity?

Smart watch batteries can’t be user-replaceable without impacting their water resistance, size, and weight, which causes premature obsolescence when battery life issues occur. Read More...

Wireless networking will cover the world

The next 60 years in wireless will be more exciting than the last 60 years, with everything from 10G to intrusion tolerant networks and photonic Li-Fi. Read More...

Despite Tesla accidents, autonomous vehicles are closer than they appear

While accidents in Tesla vehicles cast clouds on autonomous driving, a quick look at our own driving habits and needs shows that autonomous vehicles are closer than they appear. Read More...

The next 60 years in consumer electronics

As we celebrate 60 years of EDN, we look forward to the overarching themes and specific technologies that will be the future of consumer electronics. Read More...

HomePlug AV2: Software holds back hardware

A powerline network upgrade proves that substantial hardware potential means little-to-nothing in the absence of polished associated software. Read More...

Myo armband: Wearables design focuses on packaging

Thalmic Labs’ Myo gesture-control armband combines electromyography with IMUs and exposes difficulty of implementing a true wearable. Read More...

Gaming hardware and VR dominate E3 Conference

This year's E3 video game conference produced a few surprises and a whole lot of virtual reality promises. Read More...

Apple MacBook gets a new battery

Replacing a laptop's built-in battery often isn't hard, and can tangibly extend its usable life, just make sure you've got decent tools and instructions on your hands. Read More...

Apple WWDC 2016: Banality and predictability

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference has always had a heavy focus on nuts-and-bolts versus splashy news, but this one felt particularly mundane. Read More...

Powerline networking continues to improve

Latest-generation powerline networking technologies may not fully deliver on their marketing claims regarding usable bandwidth, but their robustness improvements are welcome nonetheless. Read More...

A plea for one connector, one cable, one display

After 40 years of hard work the personal computer is broken, as this quest to display Windows 7 on four monitors attests. Read More...

Searching for answers to Android issues

Customizing the user interface is one thing, but replacing conventional Android apps with manufacturer-proprietary alternatives is a step too far. Read More...

Rubber Band Engineer: The book that will get you in trouble

Rubber Band Engineer is the kind of how-to book that can surely get you in trouble while having fun with projectiles. Read More...

The reality of virtual reality

Virtual reality headsets are hitting the mainstream market, opening up a new mass-market sector for VR, but we need other technologies like touchless haptics to make virtual reality real. Read More...

10 drones you’ll want to own

Drones are the hottest thing in consumer electronics at the moment, and they're increasingly inexpensive as more suppliers enter the market, so which one(s) should you get? Read More...

How could the FCC’s proposed successor to CableCARD thwart innovation?

How on earth could a more robust successor to CableCARD thwart future industry innovation? FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is bemused and baffled by the subscription TV service providers' responses to his recent proposal, as is this engineer. Read More...

Teardown: A tiny drone and its controller

See what you get when you spend $10 on a tiny drone. Read More...

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Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights

15 years later, here’s a new take on one of our most popular Design Ideas ever! Read More...

Hybrid vacuum tube/solid-state audio power amplifier

An audio power amp design that combines vacuum tube input circuitry with solid-state output and feedback components. Read More...

Low-duty-cycle LED flasher keeps power draw at 4 mW

In situations where a low-duty-cycle blinking indicator provides an adequate indication of the power being turned on, this simple circuit should prove useful. Read More...

Signal-powered switch connects devices

Use a switch to selectively connect a terminal, personal computer, or any other originating device to one of four receivers. Read More...

Send MIDI signals over long distances

A single Category 5 cable links MIDI devices up to 100m away. Read More...

Passive-detector receiver keeps you informed, entertained during flights

Receive HF AM signals without battery power. Read More...

Circuit combines power supply and audio amplifier

This circuit can help if you must transfer DC power and audio over one pair of copper wires. Read More...

Video emitter uses battery power

This hows how to make a cable-free, direct-video system. You can use the small and simple system each time you need to capture image and sound on the run. Read More...

Circuit eliminates PC echoes

Long-distance-telephone services available via the Internet often require the PC user to wear headphones of a headset to prevent echo caused by the microphone's picking up the loudspeaker outputs. The circuit in Figure 1 eliminates the echo while using the existing PC microphone and speakers for a comfortable conversation. Read More...

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Stereo audio chips leverage Bluetooth V4.2

Microchip’s IS206X family of audio SoC devices and modules is qualified for Bluetooth V4.2 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) links. Read More...

Kit demos multimode wireless charger

EPC’s 9121 wireless power-charging demonstration system simplifies the evaluation process of using eGaN FETs and ICs for multimode charging. Read More...

IC manages battery power in wearables

Highly integrated, the STBC02 chip from STMicroelectronics embeds numerous features for energy management in wearable and portable devices. Read More...

Tiny motion sensor fits wearable devices

Bosch Sensortec’s BMX160 is a 9-axis motion sensor touted as the smallest in the industry for wearable and augmented/virtual-reality devices. Read More...

Another strong voice chimes in for remote control

Voice control is ever increasing in popularity and the technology is now moving further towards ubiquity with Texas Instrument’s voice remote control solution. Read More...

Portable e-car charger leverages SiC MOSFETs

Thirty-two SiC MOSFETs from STMicroelectronics perform efficient power conversion in the ZapCharger portable electric-car charging station. Read More...

SAG taps STMicro for IoT NFC tags

STMicroelectronics and Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) have announced a tiny NFC ferrite tag based on the ST25 NFC tag IC for IoT applications. Read More...

MEMS sensors empower smart phones

Low-power 6-axis inertial modules from STMicroelectronics, the LSM6DSL and LSM6DSM, pack a 3-D digital accelerometer and gyroscope. Read More...

TVS device protects NFC and RF interfaces

The single-line RClamp1851ZA from Semtech has a working voltage of 18 V for use on NFC resonator and RF circuits without signal clipping. Read More...

Conexant takes sound and voice control to the next level

New audio solutions announced at CES 2016 will be important in the growing smart home industry. Read More...

NFC transponder teams with automotive SoCs

A dynamic NFC transponder from Texas Instruments, the RF430CL330H-Q1, is AEC-Q100-qualified for use in automotive infotainment systems. Read More...

Development ecosystem secures wearables

STMicroelectronics’ product-development ecosystem simplifies the design-in of stronger security for mobile transactions. Read More...

Mini Bluetooth Smart module advances IoT designs

Packing an SoC with an ARM 32-bit Cortex M0 CPU, Fujitsu’s MBH7BLZ07 Bluetooth Smart module is approximately 50% smaller than its predecessor. Read More...

NAND flash devices target embedded designs

Leveraging a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), Toshiba’s latest family of NAND flash memories consists of 12 devices at three densities. Read More...

XMetrics taps ST to create swim monitor

Tiny motion-sensing and data-processing chips from STMicroelectronics form the heart of XMetrics’ activity tracker for swimmers. Read More...

In-mold electronic inks enable control integration

DuPont Microcircuit Materials is launching a suite of in-mold electronic inks designed to help streamline electronic devices by reducing the need for rigid circuit boards. Read More...

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Teardown: Bluetooth controller for low-cost VR

You can get VR on a budget with a smartphone, an inexpensive Google Cardboard headset, and an even more inexpensive Bluetooth controller ... if the controller works. Read More...

Apple MacBook gets a new battery

Replacing a laptop's built-in battery often isn't hard, and can tangibly extend its usable life, just make sure you've got decent tools and instructions on your hands. Read More...

Teardown: A tiny drone and its controller

See what you get when you spend $10 on a tiny drone. Read More...

Teardown: Buggy software brings down hardware

WD showed its design chops on the My Net N900 router's hardware, but the software wasn't similarly up to the task. Read More...

Teardown: Inside a DSL gateway

An aversion to integrated gateways presents a teardown opportunity and a good look at the PCB that makes the unit go. Read More...

Teardown: FLO TV didn’t fail because of its hardware

In addition to its impressive electronics integration, the PTV350 personal TV receiver contains one of most solid hinges ever experienced in a device like this. Read More...

Teardown: Amazon Dash Button keeps you connected

Amazon's Dash Button is the ultimate in consumer convenience and it costs only $4.99. So, how much hardware was Amazon able to squeeze into such a diminutive bill-of-materials budget? Read More...

Teardown: MoCA adapter succumbs to lightning strike

Another autumn brought another round of lightning-zapped electronics equipment. This time, an Actiontech MoCA adapter goes under the knife. Read More...

Teardown: Amazon's Echo voice-activated virtual assistant

Take a look inside Amazon’s Echo to see the PCBs and components that make the virtual assistant work. Read More...

Teardown: LED touch controllers & PSU

Look inside some low-cost LED touch controllers. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

The next 60 years in consumer electronics

As we celebrate 60 years of EDN, we look forward to the overarching themes and specific technologies that will be the future of consumer electronics. Read More...

10 drones you’ll want to own

Drones are the hottest thing in consumer electronics at the moment, and they're increasingly inexpensive as more suppliers enter the market, so which one(s) should you get? Read More...

What level of smartphone should you buy?

To understand the differences between phones and ranges of phones, see how the Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy A9, and Huawei Mate 8 compare. Read More...

CES 2016: It’s all about smartphones

Smartphones were at the center of many innovations at CES 2016. Read More...

NASA’s Mars Orion program featured at CES 2016

See where NASA’s plans for a mission to Mars stand with a look at its CES 2016 booth, featuring rockets, 3D printers, and robonauts. Read More...

Smartphone receiver to connect cars unveiled at CES 2016

Pioneer Electronics released AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) which brings the use of cloud and device sourced content from compatible iOS, Android, and MirrorLink-enabled devices to your car. Read More...

8 wearables beyond the Fitbit for health and fitness

Bluetooth, algorithms, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and more make these 8 wearables work for health and fitness. Read More...

CES Unveiled NY: What consumer electronics will 2016 bring?

See some of the up-and-coming consumer electronics that were on display at CES Unveiled, a preview event for CES 2016. Read More...

All you need to know about MIPI D’PHY RX

MIPI D’Phy, a physical serial communicating layer connecting the application processor to the display device or the camera, offers advantages as the physical layer. Learn about those and implementation here. Read More...

Sensors combinations make for more intelligent mobile devices

Smartphones can be remarkably dumb. Learn how sensor combinations can bring about more intelligent mobile devices. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

The Moto 360: Premature obsolescence out of design necessity?

Smart watch batteries can’t be user-replaceable without impacting their water resistance, size, and weight, which causes premature obsolescence when battery life issues occur. Read More...

Despite Tesla accidents, autonomous vehicles are closer than they appear

While accidents in Tesla vehicles cast clouds on autonomous driving, a quick look at our own driving habits and needs shows that autonomous vehicles are closer than they appear. Read More...

HomePlug AV2: Software holds back hardware

A powerline network upgrade proves that substantial hardware potential means little-to-nothing in the absence of polished associated software. Read More...

Gaming hardware and VR dominate E3 Conference

This year's E3 video game conference produced a few surprises and a whole lot of virtual reality promises. Read More...

Apple WWDC 2016: Banality and predictability

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference has always had a heavy focus on nuts-and-bolts versus splashy news, but this one felt particularly mundane. Read More...

Powerline networking continues to improve

Latest-generation powerline networking technologies may not fully deliver on their marketing claims regarding usable bandwidth, but their robustness improvements are welcome nonetheless. Read More...

A plea for one connector, one cable, one display

After 40 years of hard work the personal computer is broken, as this quest to display Windows 7 on four monitors attests. Read More...

Searching for answers to Android issues

Customizing the user interface is one thing, but replacing conventional Android apps with manufacturer-proprietary alternatives is a step too far. Read More...

Rubber Band Engineer: The book that will get you in trouble

Rubber Band Engineer is the kind of how-to book that can surely get you in trouble while having fun with projectiles. Read More...

The reality of virtual reality

Virtual reality headsets are hitting the mainstream market, opening up a new mass-market sector for VR, but we need other technologies like touchless haptics to make virtual reality real. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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